Sunday, 1 October 2023

Not Food for the mouth but...

 Food for thought...

This was going to be once more a post about amazing gluten free fish and chips. This time from Deep Blue in Brandesburton, East Yorkshire. 

(source, pinterest.)
 ~I ate mine~

Best I've ever had, and that includes those from the fish and chip shop voted best in Britain. (Sorry to them)

But then I noticed one  of my old (not in age) editors celebrating how many years she'd been doing the job and it brought me up short.

 How often does anyone who is not an author realise just how important those people are?

Our editors are our extra eyes and ears. They are an extension of how our minds work. They can see what we mean and more importantly what we do not mean. Save our sanity, (or story)

I might not speak for everyone, but I wouldn't feel happy putting a book out without it being edited. Properly edited. I'm not bad at grammar, but not always au fait on what's needed. And when I've written something, and I read it over, I 'read' what I know should be there and not necessarily is.

That's when my editors come in.

(source pinterest)

Now, in general, I've been incredibly lucky with each and every editor I've had. There's only been one who I didn't get on with. The one who told me if I wanted E in Scottish  whisky it would be seen as a typo. Anyone whose read any of my blogs know why that is a big no no for Scotch.  She then told me if I insisted to use the UK spelling (er what???) then I shouldn't write for a non-UK publisher!

(rant over)

Luckily My publisher didn't agree.

And I changed editors. 

Of course, over the years there has been quite a few and I'm not going to name names. In case I miss anyone.

But to each and every person, whose name is in in one of my books, as 'editor', thank you.

You are one of the reasons I keep on writing.

(Source, pinterest)

You, my readers are the other.

Happy Reading,

love Raven xxx   

Sunday, 24 September 2023

A beer festival where?

You may well ask.

In a church. 

To support the parish

And I forgot to take any pictures. 

(so here's some beer my lovely husband drank earlier this year)

(and some wine)

We have friends who organise this on behalf of the church and so far have never been able to attend. This year we were determined to go.

Only one snag. No drinking and driving. Which was a bit of a problem as we live about an hour and a half drive away.

I nobly said I'd forgo my glass of wine—I knew there was no gluten free beer this year—but I wasn't driving home late at night, in the dark. (Tiredness not being a wuss).  

So we got self catering accommodation and stayed over. Definitely a good thing to do.

I drank wine, the lovely husband got to chose from an excellent selection of beer, and we had a chance to catch up with friends.

All in a church. 

What a great idea.

( just becasue)

And on that note, having spent a lovely three days away, I'm off back to Regency times to see how my hero and heroine are going to spend Christmas.

I do hope they let me in on the secret.

Happy reading,

love Raven xxx

Sunday, 17 September 2023

who has the grapes?

 It's a not so well known fact that I love seedless grapes and hate ones with pips with a vengeance.

I mean you bite into them and wonder if you've broken a filling. 

Oh not so bad as an unexpected nut or bit of toffee but I mean, really a hard pip-filled grape It's just not on. I want to savour it, not check it for teeth chipping hazards.

Which got me thinking about other food hazards...when you get to 'a certain age'. 

Food, treats—okay sweets—chocolate— coleslaw.

Hold on you say. Coleslaw? Not very likely is it?

Oh yes it is... (No need to do the pantomime chorus, the lovely husband and I have been there got the t-shirt and so on.. because YES it is.

Which is not something I want to contemplate as last week I had to have a healthy tooth out.

Because I'd cracked it straight down the middle.

On coleslaw.

I kid you not. Crunchy coleslaw and a bit of the cabbage was hard enough for me to have to say bye bye to a tooth. Just call me gappy.

I'm lucky I have a fabulous dentist who made the whole extraction relatively painless. (Thank you Dr Kath). A wee bit of tugging and one tiny ouch moment as one of the injections went into my palate. The rest was okay bite in this wedge of sterile cloth to stop the bleeding, don't eat or rink anything hot, read this information leaflet and you will have an achy jaw. And if you need to, ring me.

And I headed home to contemplate lukewarm soup half cold tea and do not use a straw, I realised that actually I'm darned lucky. It was a tooth, yes, but only one.
and I got into see my dentist fast.

In the grand scheme of things I would never have thought coleslaw could be a culprit to deprive me of a tooth.

Now a seed or ten in a grape...?

Luckily mine are seedless.

Plus the chocolate is soft, the biscuits dunkable and the sore mouth is getting better.

I hope you all have a good (and extraction-less week)

Happy reading,

love Raven xxx

All pics courtesy of pinterest

Sunday, 10 September 2023

when the blog is nowhere to be seen...

 But when you do find it...

What's going on? Why is it...



Ignoring me...

In fact being a right you know what in the you know what!

There is one important question in all of this. 


Why have I and the blog been missing?

Okay time to fess up.

It was life...just one of those things.

I've been on holiday. And for once I can say without a word of a lie, a lot of the places in the North West of Scotland (and on Lewis and Harris) had no wifi and very indifferent coverage. In the end after tying to get online a couple of times and , i accepted that it was going to be little and not very often, and there wouldn't be a blog or an awful of of chat from me.

I did get a couple of chats in and a few photos, but I went back to the past and remembered our fist computer, bfore we even had wifi. Putting in several dozen cards to get on so I could write and having to do it every time... every flipping time.

In some ways it was nice not to have to think, ah check emails or whatever. Until of course I did get on and found 324 emails to check. Of which 289 weren't relevant of course.

It was very good to sit back and enjoy the surroundings. Sniff the daisies (or the seaweed) check out the history and find some gluten free haggis. That was a great big yee haa moment.

But, food drink and scenery apart, it got me wondering, how things have changed in my lifetime. 

Now I guess we (or I) take if for granted I can log on, check in, chat, write or whatever without any problems. Share our photos our grips ad check facts and hunt for information. All at the touch of a button.

Whereas for three weeks I was mainly making notes on what I needed to check...

Some things were amusing. Like using a certain on line map that couldn't decide where I was. Out came the paper mapbook. That worked.

Some things weren't. I have edits. I got the email just as we were sbout to drive. I made a note to download them as soon as we arrived at our next destination. 

*Ironic Laugh*

This was a beautiful place. Mega scenery, lovely accommodation. and a wee note.

 'Wifi is very slow, sorry but that because you are here, in the beautiful countryside, with stunning views and lots of things to do.'

Point taken. It really was. 

So I decided I was going to take the opportunities given to me. My editor said don't worry about your edits until you get home (half way through then now)  My fb group told me to enjoy myself (I did) and my notebook was rapidly filled with ideas.

I wrote the first 5K of one of my Christmas stories, went for walks, beverages and lunches out, and enjoyed the scenery.

Now I'm back home and playing catch up.

But you know? It was all worth it. I don't want to go back to how life was twenty or thirty years ago (though I'd quite like to have my ability to jog a bit back ;) ). I mean I'm a real library fan, and the reference section has always been my friend. Sadly thats not a lot of help when the nearest library is 30 miles away and the library van comes once a month and you've missed it by a day.

And to end this edition of Raven's Ramblings... here's some cows on the beach in Harris.

have a great week,

happy reading ( or rambling)

love Raven xx

Sunday, 20 August 2023

The art of thinking what if...or what is...

 I admit I'm not afraid to say there are a lot of words I've never heard of. It's such fun to then look them up.

(love this, courtesy of pinterest)

Sometimes I'm still none the wiser, but sometimes there's a great big lightbulb moment. Ah, that. It's strange that some words go out of fashion, while others stay there or even sneak back in.

Then there are some...well you end up scratching your head and going why on earth?

I remember one of my teacher...Ok Colin Dexter of Inspector Morse fame. He loved giving us insights to words. Explaining them, letting us know how to use them. 

Other were not so good. One teacher just told us ad nauseam he hated the word nice. Okay then, but why and what should we use instead. Can't beat Colin.

I love finding new words or resurrecting ones from my teenage years. Pettifogging, flibbertigibbet, onomatopoeic, parsimony. They all roll round the tongue. I remember the first time I hear someone say, 'It's too minuscule to mater in a monetary sense. Let's remunerate in a more coalescence sense. Still not sure what they meant but it sounded good.

Which was why, when I got a copy of Roget's Thesaurus I was over the moon.

Lots of words to play with.

Let's face it, the same old suspects can get mighty boring!

But i'm still going to say,

happy reading (thesaurus or not)

love, Raven xxx

Sunday, 13 August 2023

Schools have a summer break

 So it seems, has my blog.

I've been pottering about, reading a lot, writing a bit, walking, sauntering and sitting and watching the world go by. 

Normal service will be resumed as soon as possible. Meanwhile here are some bits and bobs...

I wasn't quite as bad as the picture below, but definitely not dressed up.

Yes it did include views, food and drink.

It's done me good. Now I'm ready to get cracking.

Wish me luck.

Happy reading,

love Raven xxx

Sunday, 30 July 2023

Why I wish I could remember...

The story I started in my head, when I was trying to get back to sleep in the middle of the night.

It's a sad fact, but a true one, that when you reach a certain age you often wake in the night. (Well, I do anyway.) Which then means you need to use the facilities. Yes that a coy way of putting it, but I don't want to upset anyone.

The upshot of which is, of course, when I get back into bed I'm more awake than when you got out of it. My mind then goes into plotting mode. I can write a full book in my head, dialogue and all. 'See' the setting, know the ins and outs of the characters and their quirks and be generally happy with a full 'written' however many words story.

Then I fall asleep.

Which means, no notes, no bullet points and often not much memory of what I had been convinced was a great story. Yes, maybe I aught to have a notebook and pen, or type it briefly, but that would mean waking up even more, and probably waking up my other half as well... So of course I am convinced I will remember it all.


Faint hope.

But last night, I plotted my contemporary Christmas story, and yay, happy dance. I can remember it. Even down to the names and hair colour. Okay not the eyes but you can't have anything. 

Now to make notes as I drink my coffee, sort out some photos of the area it's set in and get stuck in. And hope it's as good as I thought it was in the wee small hours.

Happy reading,

love, Raven xxx

(All pics, except the last, Pinterest. The last is my own)