Thursday, 23 May 2013

Love In A Hopeless Place - Cover Reveal

All things evolve and change do they not? Gravity slowly exacts its revenge for my vanity and it looks as if my application to go weightless as an astronaut is in the cosmic slush pile. My personal evolution as a writer now reaches an interim full stop. I started a mere 35 years ago with the magazines, writing shorts about lurrv. (Some success). I wrote proper literary novels (SEVEN! - No success whatsoever). Whatever slush pile I was in, the spring melt swept me away in an avalanche of  otherwise engaged agents, disappeared sub-editors and patronising posh publishers. In a moment of ironic renaissance I wrote "Knockout" as a kind of hybrid philosexophy novel. (Some success). 

All the while I was doing what I think I was born to do - tough shorts about emotion in working class life. This is what I know. I won big lit cred prizes and drove a bus! A few days ago I reached the end of that road with the completion of "Love In A Hopeless Place". This title will also serve as the overall name for a collection of five stories, all set in the same context. 

This story is a 10,000 word first person account of a working class woman's experience of self discovery. You can imagine if you read my blogs - there is sex in the mix and even joyously spilled over the edge of the bowl with a few fruity sultanas for texture. These are the opening words:

 "You can't blame the music for what happened. You can't blame the budget brand vodka or the Walmart brand cola. You can't blame anyone but me and the great gaping hole I used to know as ME."

It is the most difficult thing I've ever tried to write. It is a totally true story - and they are the hardest.

Now, if any or all of you guys want an advanced review copy of this story please let me know. It's not quite the usual menu so I'll be pleased to get comments. 

This story will be out on Kindle during the first week of June.  In the mean time there is a lovely new Facebook page to visit... 

Emma Thinx: Love is blind. Lust just has no sense.  





Monday, 20 May 2013

Thank You For The Music

At last - my chance to jump on a band wagon.
This is often a sharp elbowed world and sometimes for me the struggle seems too hollow to compete. I've noticed lately that I slice the cabbage for coleslaw slightly thicker and call my weed ridden flower bed a Nature Garden. The re-branding of indolence into positive action is going to be my contribution to society. Last week in Walmart I actually found myself loitering furtively in the ready made coleslaw aisle. The end is nigh. Time to listen to more gentle music.
Virtuoso courtesy (and music)

However, my entire purpose here is to thank the band that played in the park on Sunday. (See my last blog). I forgot to give them a plug. They are called the Albion Band. As a trombonista I am an extreme affectionista (Oh why don't these words exist?) of all things brassy and blown. I tell the world on this page a profound truth - you do not know loving lips until you have kissed those of a vibrating virtuoso.  

At the end of the concert I went over to the artistes in order to take a photo of their logo. A lovely young lady saw me trying to get a shot and held up her music stand. Now, this was a small thing but it was a big courtesy to a nosy stranger.  

If the members of the Southampton Albion Band don't know the pleasure they brought to the Romsey Memorial Park on Sunday, let me here record my profound thanks.

Emma Thinx: The blissful listener is the true musical instrument









Sunday, 19 May 2013

Joy Joy Joy in Albion's Fair Isle

Some things have an essence you cannot truly capture in words - at least, not with my level of ability. Today I was in the small country town of Romsey in Hampshire. We wandered into the park where a brass band was playing on the bandstand. We bought tea (and utterly supercalorificbiscuitexitmefromdiet shortbread) at the municipal wooden hut. We sat on damp grass to listen to the band. Oooh - I do miss playing my trombone!


video
All I had was an old compact camera long past its best. I decided to video the band just to capture the music. As they struck up "The Floral Dance" a young girl skipped by in an expression of utter careless joy. I'm sorry about the film quality. You know,  life will take its toll and its dues. Much of our human experience is of spite, revenge, futile punishment, violence and sorrow. In short - the absence in our hearts of a carefree skipping child.  Yet in simple moments of joy we do see the absolute truth. The war dealers and the money changers still hold the stage.It will not always be thus.
You just can't beat a bit of old brass. (Novelist in full blow)


Just maybe, when we see the simple joy of being alive - we should be more angry at those who claim they are called by faith or politics to lead us. They talk of production, gods and markets but they say little to me while they sell their limb destroying mines and the greedy stuff their pockets with more and more and more until they burst. I know - I go on a bit don't I? Tell me I'm wrong.


Emma Thinx: Don't run before you can walk. Don't think before you can skip. 







Saturday, 18 May 2013

Bull's Balls,Bluebells and Bicycle Belles

Two Bicycle Belles - Oooh - the sighs of those thighs!
If you love great powerful pumping male thighs - nothing beats a good old cycle race sprint finish. I've just been watching Mark Cavendish win yet another stage in the Giro d'Italia. One day I'm gonna write the definitive tale of love in Lycra and passion in the peleton.  What I want to know is why are these guys thighs so much stronger than mine when mine are bigger?  
Don't need your conversation - just hangin' loose you old cow

Today, despite the North East wind and the bank breaking energy bill, the sun peeped out in the UK. As the central heating thermostat clicked on, I headed for the woods with my camera.(Ok - I do know I should have been turning out future English Literature exam syllabus material).  On the way I encountered a most magnificent beast. I was so excited I didn't centre the shot. If I could have dressed him in a tux and given him a couple of horny lines he'd be my next hunk. I've read books with similar grunting heroes.

My real quest was the ethereal quality of Nature and mortality which are never far from my thoughts.Of course, the bluebells were out and pumping up the volume of their abstraction. No more and no less than these blooms, our lives have their hours set against the depth of Time past and the infinity of future. These flowers are a certain embodiment of a thing being nothing but its simple self but yet a transcendent path leading beyond presence into wordless meaning. I don't really know what I mean but these flowers say it for me every time I see them physically or in my mind. 

I am so lucky to share my life between two beautiful places both here in the UK and in France. I'm sure that today the river Charente is pushing on to the Atlantic on the west coast of France. My last shot is of the famous (for trout fishing) River Test at Horsebridge as it approaches Romsey in Hampshire UK. 


Near here I once saw a hawk sweeping across an undulating meadow to snatch a rabbit. Its flight was a perfect poem of elegance and precision. The strike was an exploding synthesis of suffering, victory and hunger. If ever I understand what I felt I'll be somewhere - but words won't help me.My mind is a poor tool but it's all I have.


Emma Thinx: A kite only soars because it is tethered.




Tuesday, 14 May 2013

A Pair Of Partridges And An Apple Tree

Got them grey skies pink apple blossom blues
A bitter cold wind sweeps across my English country garden. The delicate apple blossoms fall, smashed by the horizontal arrows of stinging rain. It's just not bloody fair is it?

The shivering birds huddle, the fledgling crows are thrown from their nests, the Conservative Party, obviously starving, has gone cannibal and  eats itself alive over whether or not Britain is part of Europe.(Google satellite maps can help).  Oh yes - it's summer in England.

Duh!          (youreuropemap.com)    
I should be cheerful because I've just finished sound editing the final edition of the audio book edition of "The Gentleman And The Rogue" by Bonnie Dee and Summer Devon. I tell you - it's a sexy romp in which a gentleman and his young handsome valet set out to rescue a maiden from an amazingly sinister and evil villain. Oooh - there's tight riding breeches and enough upright gentlemanly romance to tickle any follicles. There's horses hooves on gravelled roads, the pre-Dickensian London above stairs - below stairs ambiance, a guilt ridden toff, a cocky tart, a cast of colourful characters, the Napoleonic wars and a sensitive love story. Honest - this is a good good English Regency historical tale. The Gallo-Romano narrator, Jasper de Montfort (a likely name) swings both and every other way to cover all the angles. I loved it!! I'll let you know when the audio book is out there.

Run Juanita - These guys are rowing their island out of Europe.
Anyway, in the vile greyness of yet another failed spring/summer, I spotted a couple of disconsolate European illegal immigrant creatures doing what the Conservative Party cannot do -maintaining unity. I love red legged partridges (ssh- they  are introduced Spanish illegals).  They are  never apart and so so sweet!



Emma Thinx: Big men in history came together.



Sunday, 5 May 2013

In The Sack - With Mandy Baggot

I've not encountered many celebrities, although I did once stand near a TV gardening expert on a railway station platform. I began to frame a remark about my perfumed succulents to make conversation, when a bodyguard spotted my loony groupie stereotype and I was eased away. All that was before I met Mandy. 

I had seen her books in Waterstones, I had heard her talking on the radio, but it was not until I went to a literary festival that I encountered her. During the lunch break I heard someone singing "Rehab" which is definitely my kind of song. The singer had brought along a backing track - and well, the girl could sing. If only I could sing! I could be somebody, maybe even a contender like Rocky. At least I wouldn't have to try to write books. Then, a passing novelist told me the singer was Mandy Baggot - and well, the girl can write!

She's a power-house, she's an inspiration and she's here..... 



Thank you so much for having me on your blog today, Emma. I’m going to be starting a new feature on my website soon called In The Sack and I thought I’d kick it off on your site with my own!

Basically, I have a handbag fetish. I have LOADS of them and I love them, but occasionally I do have to thin out my collection otherwise Mr Big goes mad! Anyway, he’s not here now! In The Sack is going to look at your current handbag and its contents. What does your style of bag say about you? What horrors are there lurking in the bottom of it!

So, without further ado, here’s my handbag!


I bought this rather large handbag at the Ladies Who Love Salisbury Fashion Week shopping event and I love it! It’s huge and has room for everything I need on a daily basis and more! Want to see what’s in it?


Here’s what’s in it:-
  1. Purse
  2. Two lip balms (?)
  3. Name badge (in case I forget who I am!)
  4. Huggies wipes
  5. Fiction Addiction Book Tours diary
  6. House of Colour colour wallet
  7. Leopard print tissues
  8. Business card holder
  9. Cheque book
  10. Tesco coupons
  11. Pyrex collection stickers
  12. Petrol receipt
  13. Pens
  14. Avon book
  15. My phone would have been there but I was taking the photo!
What does all that say about me?!


If you’re an author or a book blogger and would like to be featured on In The Sack, drop me an email at mandybaggot@gmail.com and I will get you on my blog!



About:
Mandy Baggot is a romantic fiction author. In 2012 she won the Innovation in Romantic Fiction award at the UK’s Festival of Romance. Her self-published title, Strings Attached was also short-listed for the Best Author Published Read award.


Also in 2012 she signed with American publishing house, Sapphire Star Publishing, who has produced her novels, Taking Charge http://ow.ly/ks0Zg and latest release, Security http://ow.ly/ks13Q. She is a regular contributor to writing blogs and on-line magazine, Loveahappyending Lifestyle http://www.loveahappyending.com/.

Mandy loves mashed potato, white wine, country music, World’s Strongest Man, travel and handbags. She has appeared on ITV1’s Who Dares Sings and auditioned for The X-Factor.


Wot? No soggy furry humbugs, no crumpled up parking tickets, no leaked out biro? Thanks Mandy, I'll be having a rummage in my sack and exposing my slovenly soul on your blog in August. It certainly adds a new dimension to I'll show you mine if you show me yours.   Mandy has been shortlisted for The Southern Women Inspiring Women Awards and she sure has my vote. 


Emma thinx: Gucci - the sack of Rome.