Rare Disease Day

Today is Rare Disease Day <- please take a look at their site.

Its main objective is to raise awareness with policy makers and the public of rare diseases and of their impact on the lives of patients and to reinforce their importance as a public health priority.

In our family we have a range of rare diseases.  We don’t do anything by halves 😉 My dad has Sarcoidosis, my brother has Crohn’s Disease and I have Behcet’s Disease.

Rare Disease Day

I meant to post this earlier but I’ve been IT Support for my dad today!

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To sign or not to sign

The promised update about Ordering Flynn Matthews.

Gosh where to start! In November 2015 OFM was offered a publishing contract (yay!) with a US Indie, mainly ebook, publisher. They appear to have a wonderful set-up, great cover art, promotion and their authors seem very happy. I’ve signed contracts for my short stories before however this contract was more extensive. On the advice of my editor I applied to join Society of Authors and emailed the contract to them. Great piece of advice! They offer the service free although you pay to join – well worth it in my opinion. I didn’t have to wait long before I received a reply containing their valuable comments.

The SoA also queried if I’d considered self publishing as an option. The answer to that is no. In my head it was a last resort and here was a well respected organisation suggesting it as an option. With the reality of signing a contract scaring me with its deadlines and the fact I would lose a bit of control over my creation I started to give the idea serious consideration.  And although the publisher was willing to negotiate the contract I declined their offer. Cue thoughts of have ‘I made the right decision?’

Having finished his PhD a couple of years ago my husband declared he is now ready for another project. He is researching what self publishing entails while I re-edit OFM. Can’t believe I’m still finding typos! Gutted I’m unable to attend the Ebook workshops the SoA have organised for March as it would’ve been extremely helpful.

One of my son’s housemates, Tom, is a design student who wants to extend his portfolio and has offered to do the cover art for the ebook. So the poor lad is currently reading OFM for inspiration. Not his usual reading material! It’ll be interesting what he comes up with. He says I don’t have to use it if I don’t like it bless him. I have a couple of ideas and two friends (thanks Carrie & Jenni) have made good suggestions too.

So it looks like I’m heading towards self publishing Ordering Flynn Matthews as an ebook. Who’d have thought it. I think it’s a beach read so the month of May seems like a good time to publish!

It doesn’t mean I’d never sign a publishing contract. It’s just at this time self publishing seems the way to go.

We’re looking at going to Rome this year which is a good thing as the follow up to OFM Failing Flynn Matthews includes a trip to the city and prior to writing I did my research virtually! Be good to check out my facts and take some photographs.

Ordering Flynn Matthews is based in London and Bristol – I’ve been to both of those cities 🙂

 

 

Sewing

Not doing much writing at the moment. Am away and need to have my head in the present and not in a fantasy world. Will post update on OFM next week when I’m back home.

Thought I’d do a post instead about my new hobby – sewing! Every year Great British Sewing Bee has been on TV my daughter and I, eager to make something, have looked at buying a sewing machine but could never decide which one to get. Thank goodness for Hobbycraft and its helpful website I was able to choose the right beginners Brother sewing machine for us which I got in November as an early Christmas present. It came with a DVD of ‘how to’ which is brilliant and essential for me. Sewing machines used to scare me, ever since my Nan trapped her finger under the needle – apparently that can’t happen with these modern machines. Fingers crossed, if I have any left 😉

Surprise Christmas present – sewing basket. So cute.

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First sewing project is complete – reversible poncho (made from black fleece and tartan material) for my daughter & she actually wears it!

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Second sewing project (hand sewn though as not at home) – covers for my dad’s vacuum drainage bottles so he doesn’t scare my mum when he visits her.

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Looking forward to the next sewing project & this year’s Great British Sewing Bee!

Heroes

I am naturally optimistic, and most probably deluded because most days I wake up thinking something exciting is going to happen, but it is fact that we are all going to die. It’s something most of us ignore especially where our loved ones/heroes are concerned.

I am most thankful that this month my amazing dad has, at 75, survived his sixth operation in seven years and despite a few hiccups is doing well.

However this week two other men I admire, have died. And although I didn’t personally know them both deaths have saddened me. It seems too soon. Thinking of them brings back many memories – it’s confirmation that time is passing all too quickly.

David Bowie’s death has reminded me of certain friends (waves at Annette and Karen) and my secondary school science teacher (wish I could remember his name) who was obsessed with him and evenings out at the pub watching Let’s Dance, China Girl on the music video jukebox.

As someone who has stuck with the same style for far longer than I should, although thankfully I got rid of the 80’s perm years ago, I admire Bowie’s ability to reinvent himself. It kept him current. I was surprised to find out he was 69.

I’m back home from my parents for a few days and have been watching some of the Bowie documentaries with my husband and daughter. They’ve reminded me of the many Bowie songs I love. It’s difficult to single one out but Heroes is a shared favourite with my husband so it means more.

Every Christmas we watch the Die Hard movie. Alan Rickman made a great villain in Gruber. Did you know that he didn’t like guns and couldn’t fire one without flinching so the camera panned away when he shot Takagi? I’ve watched most of his movies, and all the Harry Potter movies more than once with my children. His wonderful Severus Snape is a favourite of ours. Sadly, even though he’s one of my favourite actors, I never got to see him perform on stage. Have to confess to having watched this In Demand video many times and am more than a little envious of Charlene Spiteri!

David BowieSnape - Always

David Bowie                                                        Alan Rickman

RIP

Extract from Murmuration

Since December 1st Bridge House Publishing have been posting on their blog interviews with the authors from the Snowflakes anthology along with extracts from each story. Yesterday was my turn. To see it click here or see below.

From Bridge House Publishing Blog:

Day 15 – Murmuration – L.G. Flannigan

What gave you the idea for your Snowflakes story?

Although it is a work of fiction its storyline is a personal one. My mum has dementia and I’m aware of how much my dad has to do for her  on a daily basis. I hope Murmuration gives a little insight into being a carer and shows some of the symptoms a person in the latter stages of dementia may experience, and how precious moments of recognition are a joy for their family.

How would you describe your normal style of writing?

You won’t find long descriptive passages in my writing. I use a conversational style with dialogue driving the plot. I tend to write my novels in the first person and the present tense. My short stories are written in the third person and the past tense.

Have you published other material?

I emailed my first short story Trojan to Bridge House Publishing’s World Stopping Events competition. It was a runner up and was published in On This Day anthology in 2012. My novel Ordering Flynn Matthews was shortlisted in Choc Lit’s Search for a Star competition in 2015. I’ve had an offer from a US Indie digital first publisher to publish it but I am also looking at self publishing as an option. Either way I hope it’ll be published in 2016!

Do you have a writing routine?

I used to have a very structured writing routine but recently I’ve started a new part time job in a library and, along with my daughter, have taken up two new hobbies knitting and sewing.  However  I am writing on Monday and Thursday and every other Wednesday. The ideas keep flowing outside those times so my notebook is filling up.

Do you have a favourite place for writing?

In the dining area of our living room. It means I’m not hidden away from my family even if I am absorbed at my laptop. My children have learnt that they can ask for anything while I’m writing and I’ll say yes! The table looks a mess most days and I have to confess to tidying it up for the photograph.

Writing Space

Tell something quirky about you. 

I have notebooks I don’t write in as they’re too gorgeous to use! See the Owl notebook in my writing space photograph above.

An extract from Murmuration:

Gwen retrieved the Christmas decorations from the back of the cupboard praying it would keep Fred occupied for at least half an hour before he was yanking at the front door wanting to go out. This need had been manageable a couple of weeks ago when it had been unseasonably warm but now a bitter Arctic wind blew and she was tired of being cold or maybe she was just plain tired.

As Gwen walked into the hall Fred was making a grab for his woolly hat that hung over the newel post at the bottom of the stairs. Nodding to the over flowing box she said, “Fred dear fancy helping me with the Christmas decorations?”

He rolled his eyes. It was his new thing. His way of expressing his dissatisfaction at anything he was unimpressed by. He pulled his hat on. “I want to go out. You can’t keep me here.”

Gwen kept her sigh inside. It didn’t help matters expressing her exasperation. “I know I can’t Fred. We’re going out in half an hour so help me while you’re waiting.”

Fred tugged back his jumper sleeve and stared at his watch. He circled its dial with his index finger. It broke Gwen’s heart. He’d lost the ability to tell the time over eight months ago.

“It won’t take long. I promise.” Deliberately she staggered a few steps and tilted the box as if she was about to drop it.

Tutting he said, “Let me take that. Where do you want it?”

It was at times like these, when the old Fred kicked in, that Gwen had to remind herself that there was no point saying ‘in the lounge’ as he wouldn’t know where that was. “Follow me.”

With thoughts of the world outside their front door momentarily forgotten he did as she said placing the box in front of the real Christmas tree that had been delivered yesterday.

Still wearing his hat Fred prodded a branch, “Where did this come from?”

“Bill dropped it off.”

He frowned, “Bill? Do I know him?”

“Yes. He owns the grocers in the village.”

Fred rolled his eyes and shook his head. “You’re wrong. Herb owns the grocers.”

He didn’t, not anymore, not for thirty years but Gwen knew better than to argue the point. “Of course. What was I thinking?” She forced a smile. She spent most of her time pretending to be wrong to placate him. “He chose well didn’t he?”

“Herb’s always had a good eye.” Fred leant in and sniffed the needles. “I love that smell.”

His words warmed Gwen. It was one of his favourite scents. Maybe, just maybe, this would jog his memory for a while. She knelt down and opened the box. “Tinsel first, then the baubles.”

“Fairy lights first.”

Gwen leant over the box and flicked the plug switch. “I put them on last night.”

Fred took a step back and grinned, “I like them. They’re new.”

They were the same lights they’d had for the last decade but they shone as bright as when they’d first bought them. “They are.” She handed him a long piece of tinsel.

His eyes crinkled as he stared at the gold foil touching his fingers. Gwen took a handful of tinsel and got to her feet. She proceeded to weave it between the branches. Out of the corner of her eye she saw her husband watching her hands. Copying, he put his tinsel on the tree. He surprised her by reaching for more and adding that to the branches.

Murmuration - Somerset Levels - Love Alice Photography

Click on the Snowflakes cover below if you like to continue reading Murmuration along with 23 other stories.

Snowflakes Small

Choc Lit Search for a Star – As Weekends Go

Remember when Ordering Flynn Matthews was short listed February 2015 in Choc Lit’s Search for a Star competition? Well the winner, As Weekends Go, by the lovely Jan Brigden, was published earlier this month. Congratulations Jan!

As Weekends Go cover

Click cover for Amazon link

I’ve already bought my copy 🙂 Hoping to start reading it this weekend.