Saturday, 19 May 2012

Writer's Retreat

My Own Writer's Retreat. Ok, well not my actual own personal one!

This is where I will be spending the Summer though! Beautiful house in South West France. Bliss. Many happy holidays have been spent there. This could very well be the last one though as my folks are selling up!

It has to be said that it is stunning. The peace is like nothing I've ever experienced and the skies at night - wow -  a blanket of stars!

This year we will be truly making the most of it, building dens for half pint, swimming in the gorgeous pool, BBQs 'til the sun goes down - the food not our bodies...factor 50 is the order of the day as it does get very hot indeed.

So, just in case it sells quickly, we intend to enjoy every minute of our holiday this year and celebrate it in all it's wondrous beauty

I still remember vividly the first summer there with my older boys some years ago. As my mum pulled off the road and started to head up a dust track a tiled rooftop could be seen amidst the orchard, slowly as we approached the rest of the house showed itself. Me and the boys couldn't believe our eyes! We thought they had bought a cottage - not an enormous farmhouse with years of adventure promising itself in the barns and fields.

Whilst dreaming of my holiday and already tasting the local wines in my imagination I am feeling that dread of having to say goodbye to the place maybe for the very last time.

However sad, I have to say thanks to my mum and dad as I now have that feeling that life is for the taking and there is adventure around every corner. 

They bought the house the year my dad turned 70 and although my mum speaks French my dad, not for the want of trying, doesn't! How brave, then, of him to trust to the pioneer spirit and give it a go! Giving us all such great times and memories! 
I think the one that will go down in history is my dad (now 81 , left) walking up the very long dusty track to the house and striding, wordless and fully dressed, straight down the steps and in to the pool! are amazing....mum (little girl on left of B&W photo) hold us all together. 

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Cosmic Ordering

When you have a wobble, doubt your own decisions, or question your ability you need a word from the Cosmos....I got an email: 
My lovely husband even set up an email account on behalf of the Cosmos!

Subject: Better Believe (see what I did there?)
Date: Wed, 16 May 2012 11:19:54 +0100

Hello Bethan,

The Cosmos here. 
I have been watching you for some while now (mostly because you are the most beautiful thing down there).
It has come to my attention that you are very, very talented. Your style of writing, whilst clearly crafted, appears effortless & is a joy to read. Your characters are believable and storylines are genuinely heart-touching. I cannot wait until December, when I will be able to read back over the entire manuscript. You are absolutely following the path I have determined for you; you must continue the journey. For my part - if you will promise to stick to it, I will promise you success. See it as a joint enterprise, if that makes it less daunting. You are not on your own. Remember that.

Eternal love,

The Cosmos.


Ain't love grand!x

Thursday, 3 May 2012


Morning all.

My first week as unemployed....I mean freelance, and I've been nursing a sick child followed in quick succession by a sick husband (not just his sense of humour this time). So I haven't done exactly what I had intended so far. That said, I have re-written an original synopsis, completely changing the plot and by doing so have made the whole thing easier to write....I hope!

I've also been researching 'online presence' and the need for it these days. I was aware, obviously, that anyone wishing to promote a business from Marshmallow Toaster to Martian Trapper needs to be seen in cyberspace. However, I wasn't aware that it was necessary to have more 'white space' on one's blog or put the important stuff down the left hand column. Man, I'm out of touch!
      Apparently the whole blog should avoid busy patterns (whoops!) and too many 'non-specific' images (what's non-specific about Alice In Wonderland, eh? Eh?). So this is where I had to question my motives here. Yes, I am now a freelance writer (I am cringing too thank you....I know how this sounds to the experienced scribes out there!!) but this blog was not started to promote a product but my 'Manifesto for a Brilliant Year' which, if you haven't read it please go back to the beginning as it will make more sense of the rest of this blog!!

Basically,the premise of the blog is to focus myself and to move myself off the sofa! Last year was rubbish and I was determined that this one would be so much better. And, I have to say, that so far this year has been bloomin' marvellous. There is something very scary about announcing ambition and intention, but in my case it has been the best thing I have ever done. I have had so many times in the past where I have just given up at the first hurdle and convinced myself that I am useless and wonder why I am kidding myself in to thinking I could be a success at anything but, these days, I know I just have to carry on as I have publicly announced my intentions! If I get knocked back then I have to pull myself together and try again.....I have NEVER done this before EVER. It is an absolute revelation to me! 

This blog is a very personal attempt at improving my life and getting it 'out there' does not allow 'failure' to be a part of my Brilliant Year. My dilemma is, now that the writing part is slowly taking off, and this is where I need your thoughts, the blog may be visited by prospective agents (indeed it already has) and publishers etc. Will they want to see an all singing advert for my professionalism in creating a 'white-spaced, non-specific image free' blog? Or will they want to see me making my way through the Manifesto in my personal style, which for the record does NOT mirror my novel-writing style. I enjoy writing this one for the interaction with those of you who are lovely enough to comment on here and who send me such encouraging emails.

Maybe I should carry on with this blog and set up another purely with the intention of selling myself? (I am not knocking this notion, I am fully aware that if you want to be bought you have to sell yourself!). 

I would be really grateful for your thoughts.

And finally....the agent emailed me again and said she thought I was ' talented that she would love to read anything I have!'...yeeeeha!! And that was the first agent I had sent anything to...whoop!

Looking forward to your thoughts!