Wednesday, August 30, 2006


Well having moaned about going up hills the other day we (DH, me, kids) and granny and Uncle B and his 2 and a half year old, climbed this hill. I don't know its height, not massive, but steep at the end.


There was a real sense of achievement, especially with the kids. DH had to carry the little one down the hill as his brother had to run home else he'd be late for his shopping trip. These relatives live in Zimbabwe and visiting real shops is a pleasure to savour like the best chocolate.

Check out the slope and the wooded hillocks at the base that are pheasant raising areas for shoots which start shortly. I am not a fan of that type of hunting.











This is a dramatic view of Glasgow through the gap at the back of Dumgoyne. Notice the sky in each shot...

People always think the Brits are obsessed with the weather, but it changes so rapidly, you can get every season within a couple of hours.

This is Loch Lomond across the moor. The heather was just amazingly purple. I'll have to find the pictures later...

So, climbed any hills lately?

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

I got a GREAT review. Thank you Linda at Fallen Angel Review :)

FIVE ANGELS!!!

(an excerpt)

Her Sanctuary is a story that will plunge the reader into the deep scars that trouble Elizabeth as she flees for safety. Once I started reading, I was hooked until the conclusion. I could almost feel the pain Elizabeth endured when the nightmares continued to plague her dreams. The thought of being touched by any man sends shivers through her, and her emotions really escape the pages. I loved how Nat was caring and understood, even though he showed his own weakness over matters on occasion. Ms. Anderson entices the reader immediately with her storytelling. She pens characters that the reader can relate to and enhances a dialogue that flows easily. With a well-crafted plot, and a passionate and stirring romance between Nat and Elizabeth, she generates an outstanding read that is invigorating. I was on the edge of my seat when Elizabeth was being chased by the mob. Suspenseful, riveting and explosive, this reader absolutely loved this story, and the cover is quite nice, too.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

STAG???


I'm waiting for my man to return home. He's away after organising a Stag weekend on the banks of Loch Lomond near his parents' home. It is an idyllic spot on a good day. The weather however was not particularly good. Considering DH didn't pack any camping gear to come over from Canada he did remarkably well to scrounge up a couple of tents and sleeping bags. His wee brother gets married next weekend and this was the stag weekend he'd chosen over the usual pub, paintballing, stripper scene (although who knows what went on on the shoulders of Ben Lomond?).

Ben Lomond is the mountain above--the only Munroe I have ever bagged (that's what they call climbing the Munroes of Scotland). If I remember correctly, Munroes are Scottish mountains over 4000 feet. When I climbed it, ten years ago, I was dragged all the way up moaning and groaning. DH was telling me how good the view is from the top and I was telling him I liked it just fine from the bottom. However as I was passed by a 79 year old granmother I kicked my own butt and got up the hill.

It was gorgeous, but I still prefer the view from the bottom--maybe it is the painter in me?

Thursday, August 24, 2006

The Gruffalo



Today we went to the theatre and took in a kids play. We went with my friend Karen, granny, four other adults and six children aged 6 through 1 year.

The play is an adaptation of one of Julia Donaldson's stories. I've read the book a thousand times and wondered how they'd turn a short story into a kid's length play. They used the basic story, added some songs and funny dialogue and the result was great entertainment for kids and adults alike.

Now that is something I couldn't do. Playwrights have their very own special medium that I don't think I can even begin to contemplate. It isn't really like a movie, it isn't like a book. It is storytelling in its most basic format and I do love that intimacy the actors have with the audience.

After that we all did Pizza Hut (in Glasgow) shopping, Asda, niece's fourth birthday party and a few other things. Now I need a rest.

I need a holiday from my holiday--oh yes, DS was up half the night and DH is trying to organize a camping stag 'do'.

Hectic hectic hectic :D

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

St Andrews


On Monday I was privileged to see the inside of St Andrews' Police Station. My first time :D The police officer who showed me around gave me a grand tour (which he thought would be boring but for a writer was fascinating) and then we went for a coffee (Starbucks has invaded though they still don't have MacDonalds). I asked lots of questions about the structure of the police force and what happens during a murder. I think for my book idea I'll have to change the structure slightly because I want a detective based in St Andrews and CID are currently based in Cupar.

But that is generally better from a writer's perspective--more leeway to create a ficticious world and less chance of unwittingly insulting someone.

I'm very grateful to my police contact, he is a wonderfully supportive source of information and knowledge, and never tires of my dumb questions.

Then we visited the place where DH and I first met, 16 years ago would you believe. It feels like yesterday.

The marine lab has barely changed on the outside, but I wonder about the spirit of the place, when I was a student it had a vibrant party atmosphere--I guess that's what happens when you get old LOL! But it was great to see my old friends and see the world still turning in a special part of the world.

Oh I can't wait to write that story :)

Hope you're all well--I caught up blogging yesterday (most of the news). Have fun!!! Kick me if I missed something important :)

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Wedding

Sorry for the long absence, just finally got access to my f-i-l's computer :) The wedding was lovely, not a dry eye in the house. In his speech the father of the bride told everyone he was in the unusual position of having known Ian (my brother) for longer than he'd known the bride (his daughter). With a twenty year (almost) age gap between bride and groom, my brother said there would be no messing around with starting a family and to watch for news in 9 months time. After nursing his first wife through such a long and difficult illness (Helen died suffering from MS two years ago), it was a lovely and very moving day and I wish them all the happiness in the world.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Channing Tatum

Time is running out...

OK--the wedding is approaching, DH is due to fly out tonight and Sunday we drive to Scotland. All I can say is I'll have a lot of blogs to catch up with when I finally catch breath sometime next week.

I am writing 2 lines per night of the wip and I've done some hard editing :)

In the meantime I have five or six beautiful pictures of men (sorry to any male readers, I wasn't organised enough to find matching ladies).

I found this guy in GQ for the first time... who knew???

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

The Computer

A Spanish teacher was explaining to her class that in Spanish, unlike English, nouns are designated as either masculine or feminine.
"House" for instance, is feminine: "la casa."
"Pencil," however, is masculine: "el lapiz."

A student asked, "What gender is 'computer'?"

Instead of giving the answer, the teacher split the class into two groups, male and female, and asked them to decide for themselves whether "computer" should be a masculine or a feminine noun. Each group was asked to give four reasons for its recommendation.

The men's group decided that "computer" should definitely be of the feminine gender ("la computadora") because:
1. No one but their creator understands their internal logic.
2. The native language they use to communicate with other computers is incomprehensible to everyone else.
3. Even the smallest mistakes are stored in long term memory for possible later retrieval; and
4. As soon as you make a commitment to one, you find yourself spending half your wages on accessories for it.

The women's group, however, concluded that computers should be masculine ("el computador") because:
1. In order to do anything with them, you have to turn them on.
2. They have a lot of data but still can't think for themselves.
3. They are supposed to help you solve problems, but half the time, they ARE the problem; and
4. As soon as you commit to one, you realize that if you had waited a little longer, you could have gotten a better model.


Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Powys Castle


On Sunday we ventured over the border once again to Powys Castle, home to the Earl of Powys funnily enough and run by the National Trust.

It was lovely :)

All the way there my son kept saying, 'We going to a castle?'

And I kept saying 'Yes.'

'There going to be a dragon?'

And I kept saying 'Yes.'

And hoping :)

The gardens were just lovely and well worth the entry fee--and then of course we had tea and scones :) Yum.

This is full of grapes hanging down--there's a word for it that I've forgotten.

This is an enormous hedge that has been sculpted by man but looks more like a rock formation sculpted by the wind than a plant. The doorway is about six foot high--a tangled adventure inside.

The whole garden was absolutely beautiful with apple and pear trees (which I am sorry to say, my kids did attack and use the fruit as weapons--I don't think any passersby were injured...)

And the reason I went there? To meet up with my very good friend Alex, who was visiting her dad just over the border. I'm not short--she's just very tall ;-)

See--my grandad is six foot tall :) A real trooper he pushed the stroller for the afternoon.

And look what we found--can you tell what it is?? So my son was finally happy :)


Sunday, August 13, 2006

Her Sanctuary Release Date

Well I have good news and bad news about Her Sanctuary.

  • The GOOD news is the print version will be available throughout bookstores and not just through Amazon.
  • The BAD news is the release date has been moved to January 2008 (this may change if Triskelion decide to put out more than 4 books a month in future).
:( Now I may well be dead by then, but even if I'm up in heaven (or maybe not ;) or as a ghostly spirit haunting this realm--I will still appreciate any of you guys buying my book.

I have blogged on Killer Passion today (and I realise the date is incorrect, but I'm a little out of whack LOL)

Friday, August 11, 2006

Wales revisited

Wales was lovely as ever. The weather was great the first two days and got a little cool with a northwesterly wind on Wednesday. I spent a lot of time dashing into the Irish Sea after DS, playing for awhile, getting cozy warm again back on the beach and dashing back into the sea after DS. Both of my children did/do this--just head for the horizon and keep going literally until their heads are underwater? They get their fearless adventure spirit from DH's side of the family :)


We saw lots of sheep, slate and black hills. I caught many tiny fish in the big rockpools on the beach. Imagine being a recently hatched sculpin and hanging out in the pool, only to be dug out of crevices twenty times a day by curious kids (and me). A good spot to look at habituation of stress responses in fish :)

This was my first beach so I guess those were the rockpools that put me on my way to my Marine Biology degree. It was nice to revisit them after a long absence.

Can you see how they build walls? Slabs of slate that are slick and slippery when wet. That's what they make roof tiles out of too--very expensive, but last for years and years.

And the Welsh language is alive and well and completely unpronouncable. Don't even try it without years of tuition from an expert :)
Will try and visit you soon!!! Missing you. Missing DH!!

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Wales


This is where we are off tomorrow. Portmadog. Hope the weather holds and the Welsh coast is balmy.

Wales has a different atmosphere to Scotland. Harder edged, but somewhat mystical. Like the fog would swallow you up and nobody would ever know.

My family name is derived from that of Welsh princes with the motto, 'to envy is to be inferior.' A sin of pride perhaps? Our coat of arms is a stag's head with an arrow through its neck. Considering my dad was quite the hunter in his day it is appropriate.

Here's to a safe adventure, take care yourselves :)

Saturday, August 05, 2006

I'm Smiling

We're here...

Trip was OK until we hit Gatwick. What should be a three hour trip took more than 5 hours. And after sitting in a plane all night we were toast, mouth-open-sleeping in the back of my dad's LPG converted jeep.

Anyway we are here and rested and I've seen ALL my immediate family (1 brother, 2 sisters, assorted partners, parents, grandad, 10 nieces & nephews and one great niece), which is a record :) They're all groovy.

My hometown hasn't changed, maybe a little greener than it was, my parents' garden lush and green from the hot summer. But I always feel like an outsider here, and felt that way even as a child.

Still woosy with some jetlag and need to start writing just a little bit to get my head in gear. Unfortuately this house is stuffed with antiques and I have to WATCH the children all the time. DS has already broken some things and made my father's notorious temper buzz. Not exactly a holiday. The upside is we are hopefully heading to a Welsh beach for a couple of days camping. I'll try and set up my camera tomorrow and give you an inside look :)

So guys...how are you :D

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Warprize

OK--I just read the first book in this trilogy (Warsworn being the second in the series that I blogged about a few weeks ago). I often do things backwards, like eat dessert first, but it didn't dent my admiration for this writer.

:D

I'm still in love with Elizabeth Vaughn. Can't wait for the third book (2007) boohoohoo!!!

Great storytelling and wonderful characters and a big sweeping love story. Love it. Love it. Love it.

But--I did find a review that totally slated it, and that reminded me not to take too much notice if someone doesn't love your story--you write for the people who click with you. We're all different and this book is GREAT!!!


I fly tonight. Wish me luck. Fingers crossed I'll blog about my journey tomorrow. I hope it is the most boring blog ever.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006


***KATHY ALTMAN***

Won the Daphne award for Category (series) Romantic Suspense and got an honorary mention with another manuscript.

My CP--I'm so proud!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! You're going to be famous :)

Killer Passion

I surpassed the goal that I'd set myself to reach before heading to blighty where I'm unlikely to get anything done for a month :(

I blogged on Killer Passion today--a scene and POV I cut from the final version of Her Sanctuary. The assassin.

Blade Hunter Progress:

42,352/80,000 words
202/390 pages

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Hell's Kitchen


I love this program. Like many good exports this was a BBC Baby. The last one I saw in the UK involved a bunch of fading celebs including Edwina Currie. Now Edwina Currie is a former MP and cabinet minister from the Thatcher era. In the third installment of her diaries, she revealed she'd had a four year affair with then Prime Minister John Major (our dullest PM ever). They are both married to other people.

She only revealed the secret after John wrote his memoirs and failed to include a chapter on closet quickies.

Anyway, Gordon Ramsey and Edwina did NOT get along. I can't remember the exact details but after one vicious row, Gordon turned around and said 'can't believe he ***ked you.' Or words to that effect. It was riveting TV. We were all glued to the box :)

Gordon's a foul mouth perfectionist and I love him to bits--it doesn't hurt he looks very like my b-i-l David, and David in turn looks very like my hubby.

Funny huh??
Oh--and he used to play professional football for Rangers until an injury forced him to rethink his career. Cool :)










And BIG NEWS :) myself and seven other romantic suspense authors have set up a blog for RS fans. I'm blogging tomorrow and we are holding monthly contests--wippeee :)

Go visit Killer Passion if you get chance :)