Monday, 28 February 2011

Microfiction Monday

Lulu-Belle flitted over the human's shoes, -she knew she shouldn't, but she was so tired of skipping barefoot over the dewy grass.  Soon, they would be hers
***
Writing a story in less than 140 characters? This could be good practice for my twittering skills, and well, blogging in general. The above post is my first attempt at the Micro Fiction writing exercises courtesy of Susan at Stony River, each week she posts a photo and the challenge is to write a story in less than 140 characters.

So, did we all love the Oscar gowns last night?  *nods head profusely *  My favourite was Anne Hathaway in the stunning red Valentino, I have a soft spot for all things Valentino as you might know, and coming in second, I quite liked Milla Unis in the lilac Ellie Saab number.  Tres lovely.


This week, my writing plan is to keep calm and carry on editing my MS, it has taken an incredible amount of time and energy but it must be done.  Over the past month, I've considered what would get me closer to my goal, and it's finding the time to finish this story.  I shall continue blogging as I love it too much not to, however I'll cut back to posting two days a week for now, -Monday and Friday, anything in between will be spontaneous.  I hope you all understand,  I want to finish this story and move onto the next phase of querying.  * deep le sigh*   The journey continues...


Happy Monday Lovelies, and have a lovely week!  
** xox **

Friday, 25 February 2011

Rolling Out Le Rouge Carpet!


Well, just in case you're been writing in a deep coma of late, I thought you should know, - the Oscars countdown is on, we're just a few days away.  I know, you're extremely busy, diligently writing, but good writers get to take breaks too.  Plus, I'm a total Hollywood geek, - go on, ask me anything about films.  So, are you ready for the red carpet this year? Who will win?  More importantly, what will everyone be wearing?  I mean, seriously -this is why I love to watch.  The gowns, le hair, le shoes -what's not to like?  Personally, I shall be cheering for 'The Kings Speech', because you all know that Mr Darcy is not only swoon-worthy but a great actor, which these days, let's be honest can be wanting...  Oh, and secretly, I want 'Toy Story' to win something, quite frankly, who can go past Buzz Lightyear in 'Spanish mode'?  Anyway, it's Friday -and I've happily crafted a list of essentials for Oscar viewing...

Le Sofa... tres important to be comfortable
whilst viewing...
You may need one of these....
Or perhaps one with a straw?
You most definitely will need your phone,
for gossip updates with your girlfriends,
 ' is she really with...?
And, er,  
 'has she had some, like ..'work' done?'
Lastly but not least,
throw on your own gown,
because why shouldn't you too?
photocredits via weheartit.

A/N:  Happy Weekend All!  I shall be relaxing, reading, writing, and catching up with friends this weekend.  Oh, and keeping an eye on le Oscars gossip, er, gowns... you know what I mean.   How about you?

Wednesday, 23 February 2011

The Sum of Us

Where to begin? You meet so many wonderful characters online through blogging and twitter, it's amazing!  All seemingly like-minded souls, friendly, witty, engaging, and some very endearing.  There are days I wonder how much of our real personalities shine through in our online persona?  Yes, I know many writers set out to market themselves as their own brands, so what 'you see', -is not necessary what you would get in real life.  Does this make sense?  I hope so, stay with me on this one...

Recently, I had promised to keep two different appointments on the same evening, and subconsciously I felt a tug of conflict, as if parts of myself were at war with each other.  Let me explain why.  The first was a private event for a very special guest speaker, which I was fortunate enough to be involved with the organising of, and I also had the small bit part as the MC, oh yes, don't laugh, in a parallel universe, sometimes I do stand in front of people for a few minutes of public speaking.  Is that really me?  I don't know, -it's a very small part of me.

So, in this universe outside of my writing world, I found myself face to face with a wonderful humanitarian, -Mrs Eva Schloss, a lovely lady with a strong handshake, a survivor of the Holocaust of WWII, she is also step-sister to Anne Frank.  Eva's story is just as powerful as Anne's. It is one thing to read about a young girl who lived in those days, it is quite another experience to actually hear a survivor speak about it, in person.  Humbling doesn't quite cover it. There were tears when I heard the stories of the school children who were marched on buses never to return, there were more tears when Eva explained as a matter of fact, how families were sorted out on arrival at the death camp, and the gas showers...  Words fail me.  I bought her book but I'm not ready to read it, -for now, her own voice still resonates deep within. 

And, the second appointment of the evening? I actually went on to meet friends for cocktails, I can't explain that part, maybe it seems at odds with the first event, but if I say it was a necessary evil, perhaps even a release, I hope you understand.  This is what I mean; there are many sums that make up the total of us.  At the end of the night when I finally sat in the back of my taxi, I cried all the way home, I didn't know if I was crying for the god-awful experience that Eva had to endure, or if it was the effect of all martinis afterwards, quite frankly though I felt better, and I was extremely grateful to the discreet English Cabbie, clearly used to slightly intoxicated teary eyed females, he barely batted an eyelid, and he was awfully kind when he dropped me off at my front gates.  I could've hugged him for not judging me, but I didn't...

A/N: Eva's book is available online, please do stop by her website.  Myself, I've come to terms with my internal conflict of attending such different events on the same night, you can't be everything to everyone.  At the end of the day we are all made of different parts and it is the whole of you that matters really.  How about you?  Do you feel parts of yourself at conflict in certain situations?

Monday, 21 February 2011

Keep Calm And Carry On Crafting


This morning, I rose at dawn, pulled on my fluffy pink slippers, and traipsed downstairs.  It was a hazy- Earl-Grey-London-kind-of-morning, the small town on the horizon still drowsy with sleep.  Even the hound lay snoring, comfortably burrowed in his paw-print blanket.  What was I doing up so early?  Well, dear friends, its like this...I had committed to a duel, pens at the ready - versus a particularly feisty chapter.  You may have one of your own, it's the type that doesn't let you sleep, the one that drifts in when you are mid-conversation with friends or family, vying for your attention despite your best attempts to let it lie for awhile.  It's that chapter that, no matter how many times you re-read it, could always do with a 're-work.' For me, it's my Chapter 19, like, version 1.8.  Here's the thing, -it's a crucial chapter, methinks, -a turning point for my beautifully-flawed-well-rounded MC, -thus, I must do it justice.

So, scissors, measuring tape and ink at my side, I'm going in!  By nightfall I will own said pesky chapter, and it will resemble something beautiful... like this butterfly dress here.  

How about you?  How's your crafting progressing? 

Photocredits via weheartit 

A/N:  I should tell you that, I like to build myself up for challenges, and I do enjoy climbing mountains, swimming rivers, and flying Ninja style aka Crouching Tiger in the evenings,...you know, because these are all just warm-up exercises compared to writing a book right?  Happy Monday All!

Friday, 18 February 2011

Friday Night Drinks Trolley

Our dear lady is rather late in rolling out the drinks trolley, but never fear...it has arrived!  Tonight's selection however is strictly champagne and with good reason, come with me...

 Champagne is perfect for....
Celebrating traditions...

Fun nights out!
Soaking up sunsets...
Lounging in the bath...
Romantic picnics...
actually just any picnic really...


You can have it with strawberries...

Whilst taking in the view
It's a perfect start to a lovely evening...

Come join me for some bubbly now,
it's my birthday this weekend and I'd love to have you all over!

XOX

Photocredits via weheartit


Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Book Review: Sister


Have you ever read a book that's bought tears to your eyes? In public?  On a very crowded train carriage? Yes? Well alright then, -I'm not the only sap in the land.  It was one morning, I found myself sitting next to complete strangers, blindly wiping tears away.  This action drew a few sideward glances from my travelling companions, but mostly eye-avoidance.  Which pleased me anyway.  I'm not a fan of any transport system except my own, but driving in London is almost a weekend sport really.  I should mention that London is also the setting for the book that made me cry that morning.  Be warned now, there are spoilers from here on in.

Sister is the debut thriller by Rosamund Lupton, it's a story about two sisters, -both very different, Tess is the prettier, younger, outgoing one who lives in London, and Bee, of course is the rather plain, serious, older version -living in Manhattan with her equally dull fiance'.  It's during a Sunday lunch that serious Bee receives a call from her mother informing her that free spirited Tess is missing, and from that point, we are taken on her journey to find said sister.  I found the initial chapters difficult to settle into, however after the third one, I finally understood the writing style.  I'm not sure its everyone's cup of tea, and Bee's voice is very straightforward, however I did like her.  Now, although Tess' body is found early in the book, the mystery as to how she died, where and why draws you in.  From the comfort of Bee's side, you get to meet and watch several characters unravel, and that's when I really started to enjoy the book.  It's definitely worth a read, and I recommend it to anyone who likes mysteries and family dramas, but a word of caution, -don't expect a big twist,  I saw it coming quite early, it could be my own writerly mind at work though I doubt it.  This is a tale of a young woman rediscovering the importance of family love and loving her own self, and there are a few heart-breaking moments, or maybe I am just a sap.  I hope not.  

Sister can be found on Amazon.com, and you can find Rosamund Lupton here.  




  

Monday, 14 February 2011

Just Kiss Already


The lovely Christina Lee and Stina Lindenblatt have teamed up to co-host the 'Just Kiss Already Blogfest.' The rules, -keep it to 250 words, have fun and check out some of the other entries!  Here's mine.

* Grace and Jasper in Hong Kong. *

Grace stood at the edge of the balcony, contemplating the bright lights of the city skyscrapers that glistened as the sun lowered on the horizon.  Hong Kong was such a dirty city close up, -much prettier from afar.  She drained the contents of her wine glass, carefully placing it on the wooden rail.  The luncheon had been fun, a small party of six, and Jasper had been a great host, regaling tales of his recent trip to Shanghai.  The last of his friends had just left, and Grace could hear the distinct sound of his footsteps across the wooden floorboards now, each step sending her senses into overdrive.  He stood at the large sliding doors behind her, watching.  Maybe, she should go, -it was just the two of them, and that evening sunset on the harbour.  She exhaled slowly as he stepped outside towards her.

No, -she didn’t want leave tonight, and without turning, she knew he was already undressing her.  She’d chosen the cream Valentino dress with a slightly low cut back, knowing that even if they were not face to face, she would still have his attention.

“Grace?”  His voice warm and intoxicating, his fingers gentle, tracing the line of her collarbone, sweeping her hair to one side. Grace closed her eyes, her heart did not speed up; instead it stilled as the warmth of his body enveloped her, and she arched, -allowing access to the soft velvet of her neck.  They fit perfectly.  She gasped as his soft lips came down, his strong arms steadying her, his gentle blue eyes searching hers, and without hesitating she reached up.  “Kiss me…” She murmured, pulling his face deep into hers.

* End *
© T.Loto 2011 Grace and Jasper. All rights reserved.
A/N:  I hope you enjoyed this snippet, please let me know your thoughts!
* HAPPY St. VALENTINES DAY LOVELIES *
* XOX *


Friday, 11 February 2011

Reaching Out, I Wish You Knew


It was
One sports day
So long ago
You were sitting in the crowd
Laughing with your friends
The sun shone down
And I smiled at your face
Feeling So Proud
I ran my race
Waiting for your praise
You didn't see me
Win that heat
You were
Too busy
Eating 
Cake...



It was 
My first 
Swimming race
So long ago
I waved so fervently
Trying to make you see
My legs kicking vigorously
Cutting fast through the water
My chest fiery hot 
As I tried to keep pace...
I came second
 Though you never knew
Because it was one more day
You turned away too soon...



***

Photocredits via weheartit
© Reaching Out T.Loto 2011 All Rights Reserved.

A/N:  These are collected thoughts of a long ago school sports day, -you know that special day where your parents turn up and you just want win everything, right?  Of course, at the final-whistle-stroke-ribbon -when you do fly through, more than likely, your mother is never looking in the right direction, chatting with the other ladies, eating cake or  sipping lemonade.  Don't worry, though, I've forgiven her, -honestly.  It's just a small memory that rose from the depths of my writerly grey cells yesterday. Anyway, I dedicate it to all my old school friends whose parents never came. 


Have a lovely writerly weekend all! xox


Wednesday, 9 February 2011

Good Card Hunting

When you are shopping for something specific, do you always find the item you were hunting for?  I mentioned looking for birthday cards in my last post, well - here's what I ended up with.  I kid you not.




Quite frankly my dear, I didn't give it a second thought, these cards were coming home with me, - inappropriate or not.  I wasn't going to leave the store without them.

My Favourite?  'Me time', I feel an affinity with Lady Withers at this point in time...
How about you? 

Monday, 7 February 2011

V is for V-Day



















It was late January, one Saturday morning, I found myself flipping distractedly through rows of unsuitable birthday cards, and before I could scream 'not-another-corny-hallmark-card,' I literally fell backwards into two towering stands of pink and crimson, and yes, those unmistakable shimmery satin hearts edged in lace.  It was the formidable 'V is for Valentine's Day' stock.  And, that dear friends is when I realised that somehow we were already between New Years, and Easter.  Now, I'm a self-confessed romantic writerly type who's in the midst of revising a love story and I don't have St. Valentines day tattooed in scarlet on my calendar.  For shame?  I don't think so, it's one of those holidays I never took seriously, however, six days and counting, I'm starting to feel the love in this great city, and I've compiled eight of my all time favourite Valentine gifts, -especially for writers.  



1.  Notebooks - who can resist a lovely blank page to fill with your latest ideas?  Perfect for travel, airport, trains, cafes -or at home, on the chaise lounge, in the garden, bathtub, or your bed stand, within reach of those 'eureka' moments.  Symthson's have the best colours to die, I mean, write for!  




2.  A Fine Pen.  Fountain pens aren't just for elderly Aunts.  Ballpoint, pencils, -whatever your fancy.  Pick a nice one because good ideas roll off your mind onto the page with flourishing style, right?  That's what I thought.


3. A Poem for your beloved.  'How much do I love thee?  Let me count the ways' - Some of you lovely souls, may already know my thoughts on strange men who recite Shakespeare in bars, -you should hastily exit the bar, or pull out a novel and avoid all conversation.  On the other hand -a poem from your lover, has to be one of the cherished gifts you will ever receive.  Trust me, it'll win anyone over.

4. Truffles...
Dear Cacao tree,
Have I told you how much I adore the fruits, ahem, nuts of your swaying, er, -palm?
I do, really, truly deeply.
xox

5.  Your Favourite Scent.  Ladies, and Gents, allow me to demonstrate:  "Oh Honey!  Look, -my favourite perfume in its glorious bottle, and it's just run out..."  *bat-eyelids-pout-to-down-turned-lips-sniff-lightly*  What a pity, and just before the romantic Valentines date!  Get hinting.

6.  Candles.  I have no excuses here.  Just buy one -a great big spicy-floral-fresh-clean-scents-of-the-world type candle.

7.  Fab Bags. Now, we need to put our lovely booty into something worthy.  Take your pick from the Candy Carousel, pictured below.  This one is currently revolving at the Maison Louis Vuitton on Bond St, London.  A very nice candy store, indeed.

8.  Blooming Flowers.  'He loves me, he loves me not, he loves me...'  Oh wait, that's for daisy chains, how many times did my girlfriends and I chant that sitting cross-legged on a field?  Good grief, we were only 8 years old and already wistfully chanting away.  Flowers, personally are a favourite for me.  How about you?  What's your favourite Valentine date-gift-card, like, ever?

Maison Louis Vuitton,
London
Photocredits courtesy yours truly

A/N: If you're a hopeless romantic, you probably don't need any of the above...well except the poem.  Cuddle up, gaze lovingly into each others eyes, thats what Valentines Day is all about - feeling the love. Oh, and if you need a few martinis to help you along the way, well -so be it!