Friday, 29 July 2011

Friday's Fripperies

Oh, Friday, how much do I love thee?  This week has been incredibly busy, horrifying frenetic at times, and yes, that's a great sigh of relief you can hear.  I know I've said it before but, like, seriously -these days are flying by, before long, we'll be singing 'deck the halls...'  Right now though, grab a glass of pink champagne and come stroll along the beach with me, lets toast this week with five fripperies for the soul...
Come stroll with me...

Five for a Fabulous Friday...

1.  Superb spa treatments on a friday afternoon...because after a hellish week, its a necessity and Honey, you are so worth it!  Psst...they are great for catching up on sleep too. 

2. Holidays...the anticipation of a summer holiday conjures up such wonderful imagery.  I'm on the holiday hunt and I've been happily scrolling through Italian, French and now back to English websites.  Needless to say, the search continues... 

3. so far away from family, I rarely see them but today was an exception, and ignoring my mothers insatiable ability to 'chat' since her arrival, I'm actually enjoying having her visit.  Yes, just 6 lovely weeks to go.... no, really...its fun.

4.  Fish'n'chips or  Chinese Five Spice Spring Rolls?  I love Friday lunches! Hot, spicy and deliciously sinful food for the soul.  Either of these two choices are perfectly partnered with a glass of pinot grigio.

5.  Cocktails...of course, my lovelies, what else is needed to round off the day?  *clink clink*  Wishing you all a relaxing weekend.  Sit back and enjoy...

Monday, 25 July 2011

Summer Haiku: Sweet Butterfly

A warm breeze chases
Bees atop pretty roses
Sunday afternoon

A sun-kissed face sleeps
Peacefully on summers grass
Sweet butterfly stay

Sweet Butterfly - T.Loto © 2011 All rights reserved
Photo courtesy via weheartit

A/N:  Hello everyone, is it just me or are these days are complete blur of late?  This weekend, I managed to edit 3 more chapters of my manuscript, plus I finished reading a novel which I started several months ago.  Pretty sure, that productivity is worth two gold stars.  
This week is especially busy, my dear mother arrives for summer, yes the remainder of the season.  I'm looking forward to her visit, really...ahem, deep sigh. I'm thinking about asking her to read my manuscript too, that should knock her stockings off.  May have to remove the 'love' scene though.  Happy writing!  Talei xox

Friday, 22 July 2011

Make It Sing - Finding Inspiration with Marie Claire

It was our usual London evening, tropical grey, humid with intermittent rain showers throughout, but nothing could dampen my mood.  I skipped through puddles, dodged tourists under dusty railway bridges and every so often, consulted my all-knowing-rain-splattered iPhone for directions.  Yes, I'm a girl like that, sometimes I do check.  I was heading somewhere pretty exciting, - the Marie Claire UK headquarters, for their ' How to Get Published' event, and a fine evening it was too.  Kicking off with cocktails and nibbles, followed by inspirational talks by a panel of talented ladies in the publishing industry.

Women's fiction author, Lindsey Kelk spoke about her journey to publication; Charlotte More, Deputy Editor for Marie Claire inspired me with her talk about having a brilliant idea.  Agent Rowan Lawton, of Piers Fraser & Dunlop generously gave us great tips on submissions; Kate Bradley, Commissioning Editor from Harper Collins provided wonderful insights as a publisher.  Here are a few points that I found particularly inspiring:

 "Keep pushing on finding the agents, until you find the right one for you." - Lindsey

"Who is the woman that wants to read that story?" - Charlotte

"Make it sing before you send it."  - Rowan

"Never say never."  -Kate

A/N:  Have a wonderful weekend Lovelies!  Lets hope our Sun Goddess returns to London soon. My plans? Hunting for that perfect holiday house, perusing local markets, and editing my manuscript.  What's on your diary?   Talei xox

Monday, 18 July 2011

Book Review: Craving Perfect

How many of us have slogged it out at gym sessions, chasing that perfect body?  It's hard work, all that sweat and tears, and it all comes down to our perceptions of what's acceptable as the perfect body.  Personally, I think the ideal body, would be something in between Rosie Hunting-Whitely or Jessica Alba, but the reality is, genetics is a bitch sometimes.  Yes, there's always surgery, but where's the challenge in that?  What we should be doing is loving ourselves for who we are, and how we look, -we're all beautiful in our own skins.  Methinks.  Just being yourself, thats who people love.  And, that is, in a nutshell at the core of ' Craving Perfect', a contemporary romance novel by the lovely Liz Fichera.

Grace Mills is just like the rest of us, her family life has its own dramas, she's seeking love for herself, and she wants that hot guy at the gym where she works out religiously.  The only thing is, when the opportunity arises for her to have exactly what she wishes for, well, she finds herself in a dilemma.  Grace's tale is a great reminder that sometimes, beautiful lives don't bring you happiness, and that the Adonis you seek, is standing right in front of you. Oh, and if you don't know what sopasillas are, you soon will, my friends!  Do jump over to Goodreads for more reviews on Craving Perfect!

Happy Monday all!  It's a little crazy here right now.   Do check out Liz's books.  She has another fabulous book, Captive Spirits, which I will also review at a later date.  This week, writing wise, I'm shuffling paragraphs, the deep dive edits continue.    Have a lovely week!  Talei xox

Friday, 15 July 2011

Author on Author Insults

"A hyena that wrote poetry on tombs." 
 Friedrich Nietzsche on Dante Alighieri  

"An idiot child screaming in a hospital." 
 H.G.Wells on George Bernard Shaw  

" a large shaggy dog just unchained scouring the beaches of the world and baying at the moon." Robert Louis Stevenson on Walt Whitman  

"Filth.  Nothing but obscenities."
 Joseph Conrad on D.H. Lawrence

"A village explainer.  Excellent if you were in a village, but if you were not, not."
  Gertrude Stein on Ezra Pound  

Are there any authors in todays world who loathe each other with a vengeance, like, old style?  You know, none of this 'your mother wears bloomers' business, more, -boxing gloves at the ready type stuff.  Back in the day, people didn't hold back on opinions; nowadays everything seems so lovey-dovey fluffy-wuffy, so very PC.  I stumbled across this gem courtesy via Flavorwire, it's the ' 30 Harshest Author on Author Insults In History',  try not to spill your tea whilst reading these quotes.

Insults and jokes aside, -when reviewing or critiquing each others work, how honest are we?  Do we really tell our friends the naked truth, or do we offer a watered down version of what we think they'd like to hear?  I'd like to think people appreciate the good old fashioned truth, possibly not as harsh at these quotes, maybe a dash of fluffiness but at the core of it, - essentially the truth, good or not so good.  Ahem, the latter comes with a box of tissues and a martini.  How about you, how honest are your reviews and critiques?

A/N:  Hello everyone!  Hope your week is coming along swimmingly.  Does everyone realise its mid-July already?!  Flippety flip, this year is flying by.  As promised, I can announce the lucky winner of my first ever contest - celebrating the paperback release of  'Who is Mr Satoshi?'  The winner of the draw is:  Laura Pepper!  Congrats and please enjoy Mr Satoshi!

Whats on your diary for this weekend?  Mine will largely be comprised of sleeping, relaxing, writing and perhaps a film at the local picture house.  Nothing too strenuous is my motto.  Have a lovely one wherever you are.  Talei xox

Monday, 11 July 2011

Remind Me Again, Who is That Girl?

Dreams are wonderful.  In 2010, at 22 years old, Miss Bonita Norris was the youngest British female to climb Everest, and she's a great motivational speaker.  Last Friday, I heard her speak about how she followed her dreams to conquer the worlds highest mountain, and it struck me that everything she said could be applied to my own personal writing aspirations.  And, I'll be brutally honest, after 4 hours sleep, and an early flight from Milan,  - listening wasn't at the forefront of my mind, however I found myself sitting upright and smiling.  Sometimes, in the middle of your circus-like existence, you receive a push from the outside, reminding you about your own dreams.  These points struck a chord with me, long after Bonita stopped speaking.

1. Inspiration.  You must have find inspiration everyday, go out and look for it.  Be inspired!
2. Goals.  No matter how small they are, you must have goals and follow them.
3. Mentors.  Find a mentor who has achieved what you are striving towards.  I think for writers, -this one really resonated with me, we should all have mentors to help us along the journey.
4. Work hard.  It's very simple, you must work hard each day! No excuses, you have to get out there and work.  
5.  Never ever stop believing in yourself! This is key, you cannot give up your belief in your ability to accomplish what you want.  You can do it.  Never, ever give up your dream!

Every journey begins with a single step,
but you'll never finish if you don't start.

photocredit via weheartit

A/N:  Hello everyone, hope you're all well.  This week is all about catching up, - on my writing, blogging, editing and shuffling chapters in my WIP.  Who knows,  I may reduce my Vampire hours and catch up on sleep.  Yes, I can hear muffled giggling down the back...  Have a lovely week!  Talei xox

Friday, 8 July 2011

Celebrating the Paperback Release of 'Who is Mr Satoshi?'

Jonathan Lee's debut novel ' Who is Mr Satoshi?' is now available in paperback!  I read this lovely book last Autumn.  In one sitting!  Here's an excerpt of my review: "Central to the story is Foss, a talented photographer who has withdrawn from society; his creative juices in a state of limbo since the tragic loss of his wife.  'Who is Mr Satoshi?' draws Foss from the comforts of his broken down reclusive life in England, and thrusts him on a plane to Japan to help solve a mystery left by his own mothers death."  The read more, jump here...

To celebrate the paperback release, I have one brand new copy of the book to giveaway to a lucky reader! All you have to do is answer the following 3 questions correctly to be entered into the draw, and leave a contact email address.

Contest Questions:
1. What is name of the famous fish market in Tokyo?
2. Which Japanese author wrote 'Never let me go'?
3. What is Japanese sake made from?

Contest is open: To everyone on this beautiful planet
Contest ends: Thursday 14 July - Midnight GMT and I will draw a winning name from the correct entries!  The Winner will be contacted via email and announced on my blog next Friday!  Now go to it!  Let me know your answers and contact email address in the comments section.

A/N: I am back from Milan, which was hot and lovely and very busy.  I shall write another post on Milan in the near future, meanwhile...London has welcomed me back with rain!  This weekends plans, of course require sunshine, - a BBQ and picnic?  Ever the optimist.  Have a lovely time where ever you are! Whats on your diary this weekend?  Talei xox

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Short, Sweet & Flirty in Milan

Buongiorno! My taxi driver beamed at me from across his seat.  He was a happy chappy, full of vivre and a demon at the wheel.  Brakes? Brakes are only used when elderly Italian mamas stroll out onto the road. I landed in Milan this afternoon and within two minutes of sitting in his cab, I wondered if I'd survive the trip to my hotel.  I did. Just.  And I'm glad I did because I learnt five important things within the first five hours of my trip.

1.  Caldo = Hot in Italian  (very useful for describing the weather and like...)
2.  Volto perplesso = perplexed face (very useful for tweeting...)
3.  Caffe alle ginsang = very sweet, short and tasty coffee (try it! )
4.  Via della Spiga is the shopping street in Milan! explanation required.
5.  Italians have the loveliest smiles! Oh, and for the record, -yes, all Italian men openly check you out...yes my dears, shameless but amusing all the same.

'il meglio delle migliori...'
 the best of the best..
Photocredit via yours truly, snapped en route to supper tonight.

A/N:  Happy Monday!  I'm posting late but am on the fly today.  Happy Birthday to my lovely friends in America, trust you all celebrated well!  And have a splendid writerly week where ever you are on this beautiful planet.  Ciao!
Talei xox

Saturday, 2 July 2011

Gone Travelling

It's been another busy week, and finally Saturday has arrived!  I just want to let everyone know that I'll be travelling next week, in Milan, alas not for pleasure, but for work in a parallel universe.  * deep le sigh * Rest assured though, I will hit the shops in my downtime.  My Chief Muse and le pink netbook will accompany me, so I can keep up with my writing and blog where possible.  Have a wonderful weekend!  Talei xox

I want that hat box! 
photocredits via tumblr