28 February 2014

Cover Reveal: Returning


What do you think? Amazing, right?

No, I didn't design it. This comes down to the wonderful talent of the designer I used. In fact, the whole self-publishing process so far has been incredibly smooth, but that is a post for another day.

I know "they" say that you shouldn't judge a book by its cover, but I'll admit that I do and that I am over-the-moon with the impression this cover leaves on me (knowing what I know about the story, of course).

So, you've read the first chapter and you've seen the cover. Do you want to know more?

You should totally check out my website: www.francescasuters.weebly.com

Click on the "My Debut Novel" button and you can read all about it and decide whether it's your kind of book.

The countdown to publication day is on. When I know the exact date, I'll start a proper countdown and I'll tell you how you can go about buying my debut novel if you're interested. It's very close now!

24 February 2014

Anonymity, Pseudonymity and Identity

This has always been a pseudo-anonymous blog. You know my first name and after reading through my blog, you would come to know quite a bit about me, but I don't tell you my full name, where I live or the names of my husband and children.

My reasons for this are simple. My husband and children don't write this blog. In order to respect their privacy and their ability (now or in future) to make their own choices about their presence on the internet, I have not told you every little thing about them. You may have noticed that I am also careful about the photos I choose to upload to my blog. The same reasoning applies.

I don't hide my blogging from people I know in real life and many of them follow my blog in some shape or form. So I don't blog anonymously. But I guess you could say that "Francesca Writes Here" is my pseudonym.

I struggled for many months to decide how this pseudonymity would work when my book was published. I have established a healthy following on this blog and so many of you lovely readers have shown an interest in reading Returning. And of course I have published Returning under my real name as I am nowhere near selfless enough to attribute an achievement like this to a different name. I realised, that in order to link my blog readers (who have offered such a great amount of moral support through this process) to the end result, I would need to link my blog to my real identity.

Who is this mysterious Francesca?


Consequently, I have subtly changed the way I blog. I don't delve as deeply into the comings and goings of my family, rather, I write about what I'm doing or thinking about (often inspired by them though). I have also removed some posts from this blog which I felt I wouldn't have written under my real name. I have a private, back-up blog on which these are saved.

So, in coming days / weeks (depending on how much time I have to blog!), you won't need to be Sherlock Holmes to figure out my name. And that's okay.

23 February 2014

Miranda, the Tooth Fairy

MissyMoo1 (7) is developing a special relationship with "her" tooth fairy. Having recently lost tooth #6, Miranda's visits to my daughter have now become a much-anticipated, magical event.

At the loss of baby tooth #4, MissyMoo1 built her tooth fairy a little place to rest when she came to visit during the night.




Each time we're expecting a visit from Miranda the tooth fairy, MissyMoo1 writes her a little note, asking a question or two. Over the course of these visits, MissyMoo1 is slowly learning more about her fairy friend - the excitement at seeing the fairy's responses is on par with the excitement at the money she has left behind in exchange for the tooth!

 


What do your kids do with their tooth fairies?

14 February 2014

Returning: Chapter 1

With publication of Returning not far away, I thought I'd give you all a little teaser to say thanks for your interest over this drawn-out process.



So, without further ado, here is Chapter 1 of my debut novel, Returning, for your reading pleasure.

She lay in bed sleeping peacefully, in a slumber so deep that dreams could not touch it. A light summer breeze came in through the open window beside her and tickled her ears, but she did not stir. Her body lay relaxed and still on the bed; her only movement the rhythmic rise and fall of her chest as she breathed tranquilly. With her right cheek resting on her hands, she depicted angelic serenity, like a model for a Renaissance statue.

The breeze continued to enter through the opening in her bedroom window.  It brushed past her face, caressing her left cheek. The bed sheets began to ripple and as they did, a slight consciousness began to rouse in her, as if the cool draught had opened her mind to dreaming. She became aware of air skimming along her bare skin. She began to feel lighter. She felt herself rise and suspend in mid-air, with nothing below or above her except for the breeze’s embrace. The heaviness of sleep transcended to the weightlessness of dreaming as she began to float, blissfully losing herself in nothingness. Her gliding self turned one way and then another; the air rocking her gently, tenderly, like a mother to a newborn child.

The rocking and turning strengthened to swaying and swinging. Though her eyes must have been closed, she began to see flickers of light dancing under her eyelids. She began to lurch and spin violently. Gusts of wind whistled, flinging her at will until all movement was beyond her control. The spinning quickened. She became disoriented. Not knowing up from down or left from right, she felt a nauseating churning and breathlessness within her.

Her heartbeat quickened. Despite her disorientation she knew she was falling. 

Quickly. 

Then nothing.

The floating stopped. The dancing lights took their bow, then disappeared behind a curtain of darkness.

12 February 2014

Publishing: All Systems Go!

So, some of you who follow my page on Facebook may have recently seen this:


Well, in the past couple of weeks, so much has happened.

First of all, I decided to go for all the bells and whistles in my self-publishing package. I figured if I was going to do this, I might as well do it wholeheartedly!

I then spent a few hours one night reviewing my manuscript's formatting so it accorded with the requirements pre-typesetting. Can something be both boring and exciting at the same time? Who am I kidding, it wasn't boring at all. As I was speed-reading, looking for double spaces after full-stops to remove, the excitement built and built as I realised that people - any people who wanted to - might soon be reading my book!

The turnaround time for typesetting my sample chapter was incredibly quick. And then today, a couple of days before I expected it to be ready, THE WHOLE INTERIOR IS DONE!!! (Unfortunately I haven't been able to check it out yet because my home computer is chucking a tanty). I can't wait to see it. And next up is the cover.

As far as timing goes, the book should be ready in a couple of weeks. After that it will take a couple of weeks for it to be available through online bookstores like Amazon, Bookdepository etc, but I'm hopeful that by the end of March, it should be widely available.

In the meantime, I have been working on a website. It's pretty basic and I will reveal all once my cover design is in (so I can have it up on the site). Exciting times ahead in the land of books!

Thanks so much to everyone who has followed me on this with all my ramblings. Stick around - this is where it gets exciting!

08 February 2014

Francesca's Festa of Favourites: February 2014

Francesca Writes Here
 
 
Wowow, didn't 2014 get off to a great start! We had so many wonderful posts linked up that it was very tricky for me to choose a favourite from the favourites of last month.
 
But first, a short blurb for the newcomers to explain what this linky is all about:
 
Background 

For anyone who's new to the link-up, here's some background: "Festa" in Italian means a celebration, a party. This link-up is a place where you can place links to your favourite posts in a given month, but here's the difference: they don't have to be posts you've written (although they can be). You can link to any post for the month that, for you, has been a must-read, that you're proud of, or that you think is entertaining, written by you or anybody else.

I add some of the posts, from blogs I read regularly, so you might see the same bloggers cropping up over the months. I make no apology for that - I love being able to use this space to bookmark my favourite blog posts for the month.

But, more importantly, I love seeing what everyone else likes reading and it makes me smile til I get dimples when other people add their favourites to this festa. So feel free to link up as many of your favourite posts as you like during the course of the month.

(Let me know in the comments if you have trouble with the link and I'll try to fix it.)

If you've linked a post or had one of your blog posts linked by someone else, why not add the button to your blog and help spread the word :-)

Pick of the January bunch (in my humble opinion)

Each month I like to choose a post from the previous month's linky party to showcase. I think it's a great way of showing off other bloggers in my own little corner of blogland. To check out all the posts linked up in January, click here.

Like I said, there were so many great posts and there were about three that I could easily have chosen, but I've decided to stick with choosing just one.

The January Festa Favourite is:
 
Where to From Here by Back in G Town.

Back In GTown

Although Mez is unsure what form (if any), her blogging will take in future, this reads like a goodbye post ... which is sad, but also exciting. I'm so happy for her, that she has taken the reins and started this new chapter in her life. I hope it's everything she hoped it to be and more.
 
Now, let's see what goodies you bring along to Francesca's Festa of Favourites in February 2014. Happy linking!









07 February 2014

I Hope to Never Have to Write About Hips Again

18 months ago, I wrote a post about MissyMoo2's (4) good hip news. It was good news, because it meant that the idea of surgery would be put off for a couple of years and we could carry on with our lives without the fear of its possibility hanging over our heads ... at least for a little while.

It was decided that the follow up appointment would be made at the start of the year before MissyMoo2 started school, so that if surgery was necessary, we would still have time to arrange it for the winter preceding her first year at school. Surgery and three months in plaster absolutely had to be done before she started at school if it needed to be done.

The appointment was last week.

Didn't that couple of years go fast.

I was so nervous, but decided that no matter what, I would not let the doctor see me cry (I usually cry). Thankfully MissyMoo1 (7) was at school and MissyMoo3 (2) was at daycare, so I could focus completely on MissyMoo2 and helping her not to be worried or upset.

That was a task.

MissyMoo2 does not like x-rays. Who can blame her? We entered a dark room, she had to stand by herself against a wall while mummy wore a heavy coat that was too big for her. She didn't cry, but she was not impressed.

The x-ray, though, was nothing compared to the consultation. Thank goodness there was colouring-in in the waiting room to brighten her day. MissyMoo2 does not like the doctor - never has. When he asked her to walk up and down the hallway, she wouldn't do it. I had to walk with her, but she was leaning on me so I don't think they got much of an idea of how she really walked. The registrar commented that she looked to be favouring one leg over the other - I noted that this was because she was clinging onto me beside her and not walking straight alone. Grr.

Anyway, the x-ray looked awesome. The second opinion we got in 2012, telling us to wait and see if the problem fixed itself, was a Godsend. Her hips weren't perfect but the difference was hardly noticeable and an amazing improvement on previous x-rays.

WE ARE SO THANKFUL AND RELIEVED!

The specialist (who had been pushing for surgery three years ago) noted that he was glad he decided not to perform surgery. I outwardly agreed, resisting the urge to punch him in the face and say that I was glad we had gone and gotten a second opinion.

So what's next? Normally, the doctor would have closed the case then and there, but given the family history, he said he wanted to see MissyMoo2 in a year or 18 months' time to be his research guinea pig follow her up. I noted that I would not be taking her out of her first week of kindergarten to see him in a year, so he suggested 18 months from now would be fine. I smiled and nodded, and left without making a further appointment.

Bye bye hip issues. That grey cloud can blow away now.

The end.

02 February 2014

Where Are the Words?

I have so many blog posts which I could write, but I just don't feel like writing any of them. I have a list of the topics written on a piece of paper, but I don't have any inclination to expand them into posts right now.

Where are the words?



Things are great. So much is happening on so many fronts. Sometimes it is overwhelming, sometimes it is tiring, usually it is exciting. I've been so busy in real life that it has been a long time since I blogged regularly, in any sort of pattern. And that's okay. I don't think I can sustain the blogging pace I was into twelve months ago and I don't really want to.

Since it's been so long since I posted, I need a "nothing post" like this just to get words on the "page" again; to feel comfortable in this space of mine again; to not feel like I owe people a post or that I'm letting anyone down, or that I'm less of a blogger if I'm not blogging every day like X, Y or Z blogger. No comparisons.

I hope I have wiped away the cobwebs with this post. We shall see :-)
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