Sunday, 28 December 2014

A Picture In The Attic

I saw the light
Same picture without supernatural intervention
I do love a nice omen don't you. Recently a family member has been serving in Afghanistan. My life has been an omen quest seeking reassurance that he will be OK. The garden magpies are tired of being counted and saluted. I have studied tea leaves and cloud patterns. I have been opening books and selecting random words. Then there are the patterns of blowing leaves, not to mention songs on the radio. Not that I'm superstitious or influenced by these things of course. The fact is that all the omens were good and the lad has made it home for Christmas. On his last day there I turned on the TV by chance to see the movie Apollo 13 playing. It was the scene where Marilyn Lovell lost her ring down the plughole. Surely this was a post-modern reflexive omen with the message that things can come good even if there is a disconcerting omen.

The importance of being Artist
So, imagine my agitation this morning when a cosmic collision of omens broke my sense of post-Christmas stupor. I was in the lounge. I had moved a painting to an unusual place in order to rearrange the room. As I reached out to the bookshelf to get down my new 2015 copy of the "Writers' and Artists' Yearbook". I saw a shaft of light fall on the painting as if it were a sun. The edge of a window pane was refracting the light and focusing it. I noticed that the book I wanted was on top of the works of Oscar Wilde, containing of course "A Portrait Of Dorian Gray", in which a hidden painting reveals the true life of a man. This was omen OMG overload. I was trying to decide if 2014 was to be the end of my commercially invisible writing career. 2015 could be a scribble free zone with a proper paying job punctuated by meaningful three for the price of two experiences in Walmart. Was the cosmos sending me a sign? Should there be a third "Passion Patrol" title where the girl cop solves the case with supernatural assistance? She leaves her police equipment unattended while she cavorts in abandoned lust with her mysterious enigmatic lover. Later she opens her official notebook to find the writing of a phantom hand has provided a key to a major crime. Only thing is...... it hasn't happened yet!

The picture is by Dorset artist Graham Towler and is called Dorset Hill Fort.

Emma Thinx: Will we know it's the future when we get there?

Sunday, 21 December 2014

New Year's Resolution - Walk This Way

author, writer, desk job, keeping fit at work, fitness in the office, keeping fit, new year resolutions, exercise, 2015 fitness regime

New Year's resolution! OK - I know the statistics on failure but this is for real. I'm walking right back to the eight stones of pure woman that is still cowering within me. I can never give up writing. I can never give up cuisine. I can never give up walking in my new treadmill office. If I stop I shoot right off the end. Imagine that in the middle of the first moment of passion after twenty pages of foreplay. It could be the first ever case of keyboard interruptus. Just think of the Amazon reviews!

So, here's the low down on my brand new home workplace set-up for healthier writing habits in the years to come.... The plan is to exercise as I write. Standby for scenes with lovers strolling through meadows and shopping malls.

My office is a corner in the dining room - there is limited space and we have to be able to eat in there, without it feeling like a gym.(I can get a bit warm but it is a well known fact that romantic novelists do not sweat).  I'm also on a limited budget.  I've pulled in all my Christmas prezzies as cash donations before Santa arrives and raided the piggy bank big time, but I'm all set for those New Year Resolutions.

office fitness, keeping fit at work, working and exercise
Of course you could go for the Rolls Royce solution and get a fully-branded high velocity, bells and whistles 'walking desk' ... but these run out in the region of $2000/£2000. Apart from costing all my writing royalties forever, they also have the disadvantage of coming as a solid homogenous lump. If (like me) your bones can't immediately face 12 hours on the go whilst you're scribing  - you'd need another separate desk and a chair to transfer to during 'recovery writing' periods.

My solution, although very much DIY, uses my usual sitting desk and converts in less than a minute to the new all-healthy version.

You will need:

1. A pair of comfortable trainers and loose comfy clothing (and if you're like me, YES pyjamas will do!)

desk treadmill, office fitness, keep fit at work
2. Office Fitness powered Walking Treadmill - currently on Amazon UK at £269. This is about 1.25m long and 0.6m wide and fits into the knee-hole space of a desk.  It has a little screen to tell you how long/far/calories have been achieved. It also has a safety magnet so if you should fall off (!) the power is cut. There are similar products on Amazon USA.

3. A method of raising up your work zone - I found that standing up and on the treadmill, my eye and hand levels were about 0.4m above my usual sitting position.  Not great for back/neck/wrist health. I needed to find a way of lifting up my workstation and keyboard. Again there are some very sophisticated solutions available - the wonderful whizzy Varidesk has hinges and levers that let you do this with ease but these are not cheap either - around £300. 

screen stand, extender stand, keyboard stand, keyboard extender, screen raiser

I opted for a much cheaper, strong, extendable shelf.  This gives me a sturdy base to raise my Mac workstation, which is quite heavy. The adjustable legs get it to the correct height. A bit of a fiddle initially, but once set up it just stays in position from then on. The new shelf is quite slim and sits happily behind my Mac whilst not in use - I just lift the workstation into place when I want to use the treadmill. 

My keyboard and mouse are separate and need raising up too - I have a second extension shelf that sits on my desk and I've adjusted that to get the perfect working height as well - again about 0.4m.

The sturdy extender shelf ('Posture Stand') was £39.99 and came from the Back Pain Help website

The extender shelf for the keyboard was a cheaper version at £14.99 from ebay - not as robust - it definitely does wobble a little so maybe I should have just bought two of the 'Posture Stands', but it works for now.

adaptable office equipment, fitness office, workout, keeping fit
When I finish my session, I simply take the computer off the shelf and lean the treadmill up against the wall. I stow the extender shelves behind my workstation on the desk and wheel my chair back, for a nice relaxed few hours... before doing it all again in the afternoon.

My plan is to start doing two, one-hour sessions a day,  at the slowest speed - 1km/h -  to see how the poor old bods reacts to the movement.... watch this space for news of my progress!

Happy and Healthy 2015 to all who pass this way!

Emma Thinx:  Love can walk out. True love runs back, but never out.

Thursday, 18 December 2014

A Complete Waste Of Space

I do not wish to offer any political opinion about right or left but neither do our political leaders. The vile jeering mob which we call the mother of parliaments, is put forward to more "backward" countries  as a blueprint for government that all should follow. Do we seriously believe that? Do we accept that our political leadership indulges in a self satisfied game of name calling and school yard sneering in our name? They sure don't do it on my behalf.

Yesterday the Prime Minister, the Right Honourable David Cameron MP informed his opponent Ed Miliband that he was a "complete waste of space". This embarrassing piece of bullying was accompanied by a chorus of chortling and jeering from his supporters. Seemingly, this is how we are led. This is democracy at work. This is analysis and debate!

Many of us have children. Many adults work with young people. How do we translate this kind of behaviour to them? Do we explain that this is just routine name calling and theatrical insulting of an opponent. Do we express our shame as experienced adults that this is a done in our name? Do we tell them to man up and learn themselves to call people names and jeer with the mob at others in order to dominate? Do we tell them to puff themselves up and treat all others as inferiors?

Recently I have been writing a small series of books for children. I have tried to use the "fairy tale" concept of the little guy coming good and the idea that it is wrong to be unkind, rude or to deride others. In the final tale "Kool Kid Kruncha" a small boy who is a bit different is called names by a contemptuous mob led by a bully. I try to show my young readers this is not the way to go. Probably my simple ideas are a complete waste of space. 

Emma Thinx: Leader - never stand still when the mob is behind you.  

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Emma's Spare Tyre Tummy Award For La Fenice Eastleigh

 Cibo Delizioso
A few miles to the north of Southampton lies the small town of Eastleigh. For me it has always been a unique gem of Britain. It is rightly famous for being the home town of the Spitfire fighter plane. It was once a hub of steam locomotive manufacture in the huge railway engine sheds. Rows of red brick terraced houses, a park with a bandstand and a legacy of factories make Eastleigh the kind of picture a modern Lowry would paint.

Trial by lens hood. Editor demanded a close up. 
As yet it remains undiscovered by the London commuting class. Yet, it is only an hour away from Waterloo station. Recently it has become famous for the demise of its Member Of Parliament and government minister, Chris Huhne. He was sent to prison for getting his wife to accept driving license points for his speeding offence to avoid a ban. Dear me! such vile wickedness in this world. Can you believe it? Anyway, since then it has become a marginal "swing state" political battleground with the UK Independence Party  Farage balloon tethered over the borough to repel foreign aircraft. For  my American readers I guess I could say UKIP is a kind of Republican Tea Party but with beer and cigarettes. 

So - once we hit Spring and elections in Eastleigh there will be
Real shops. Real town.
media with hordes of great and good politicos strutting the streets and holding babies/puppies/kittens/pints of beer. I've already planned my campaign of standing behind famous people and waving my books as the cameras roll. When all the words have been said, contradicted, twisted and re-said it will be time to eat. My advice - make for La Fenice in the High Street. I ate there on 22nd November with family. It was late but they fitted us in and served the most wonderful Italian food with an authentic ambiance. It is a family run business with a genuine friendliness. The pasta is all
Wot - no cars? A typical Lowry
freshly made and there is a superb menu choice. With a starter and wine for five persons it cost £105 for the best Italian food any of us had tasted. Eastleigh is gonna be BIG on the map. I urge David Cameron and his government to book their tables today at La Fenice to avoid disappointment. 

Emma Thinx: Why are they called speeding points when they loiter for years?

Thursday, 4 December 2014

ONCE UPON A NOW - fairy tales for #children - launch #Giveaway #Kindle

Well, today's the day. I've had children, I was a child myself ( do writers ever grow up?) and I still like them. As a kid I loved to listen to stories and today I'm launching my own series of children's books.

The Fairy tale retains its potency because it still speaks truth, hopes and dreams. I've approached some modern day situations exploring contemporary dilemmas and issues that confront young folk.

These chapter-book stories are aimed at young readers, in the 7-10 year age group.  The books are all illustrated in a modern anime-style by talented artist Miko Abellera from the Philippines. This young guy has a real Wow style. He gets right in there in a special way. He's got a great career ahead of him.

Each book features unique links and scannable QR codes to take readers of both paperback and e-books to bonus material such as audio and video clips, downloadable photos and colouring pictures to enrich the reading experience.

All the books are also available in audio book format - delightful recordings by the poet Oscar Sparrow, who brings the stories to life in his own inimitable style. He also composed the words for the National Anthem of Zanubia which he sings in Alf The Workshop Dog. Well - singing may not be quite the word. I'd love to hear your opinions. 

Ideal as stocking fillers or pocket money purchases!

How could a scruffy dog in a bus depot and the call of crows, link back to another world of power and love?

The ancient Kingdom of Zanubia and a stray dog looking for scraps in an inner-city repair garage, hold the secret. 

A wicked king, a beautiful girl, a young prince and the struggle between right and wrong maintain the fable tradition.

There's something strange in the woodshed...

A poor little girl in a faraway land dreams of riding a pink bicycle. When she meets a strange animal, her dreams come true. Her happiness turns to sadness when a tragedy occurs in the town and her father doesn't come home.

Maybe her new magic friend can find him?

Charlie finds it tough when his parents divorce - but Auntie Kate helps him overcome his greatest fear.

When Charlie has to move from the country into the city, he needs new friends. With his small size and red hair, some people aren't kind to him. 

He wonders if he can face another day at school.

A trip to the circus gives him the strength to see himself and others in a new way.

To set the launch off with a bang I'm hosting a giveaway on Rafflecopter - something to really get your reading tastebuds fired up - first prize is a brand new 6" KINDLE TOUCHSCREEN! 

Nothing complicated required for entry and plenty of options to qualify for for extra goes.  If you don't want the latest Kindle, you can opt for a CASH alternative too. Oh - and I'll be giving away some books as prizes too, as you'd expect.   The draw is on the 17th December 2014 - so don't hang around to enter.

Find all the full details on my new ONCE UPON A NOW CLUB website or enter the Rafflecopter draw below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, 30 November 2014

Shaving Soap Opera. Mo More @Movember @HitLitPro

Shaving soap opera: It's over.  It's not you - it's me. You're always there. You're part of me but I need space for myself.
Mo More Movember. The party is over. Call in the guys from Disney, string up the violins. A defenceless hairy creature faces the chop. Yes it's the end of the line for the tash. Both Oscar and I have agreed that despite its value as a foolproof contraceptive, the furry beast is coming off. I've decided I just don't write enough about kissing. Once the thing is gone I'm gonna grab him for a snogathon and report back. If some good woman had shaved off Stalin and Hitler maybe they would have had more pleasure and focused on better things in life.

It has been an interesting month. A procession of visitors both French and English have offered opinions on the thing. It's a strange thing to loiter about while various women discuss whether your man is more or less attractive with or without. Oscar preens and struts offering trial kisses.

I've been fascinated by the vocabulary around the tash. Words like distinguished, sexy, aristocratic and artistic actually mean mad looking scruffy old goat. One lady said it made him look more like a poet. When I questioned her she admitted what she meant was mad looking scruffy old goat. 

In rural France most males are in a permanent tash cycle between periodic shaves. In colder weather the period is often extended to fit in with other toiletry procedures. It's a job to know who has a tash and who hasn't.
Get in the mood. Slip something satisfying in your stockings

So - there it is. Now it's back to lining up on Runway One for Christmas. I've started already with a big turkey fest for all the family I won't be seeing on the day. The tree is a treat, the pies are mincing, the prezzies are piling. And guess what I'm giving as little stocking gifts? YES - it's the Hit Lit Pro Movember Anthology  "Let's Hear It For The Boys". Go on girls - slip one in with his bag of nuts and help to keep him healthy.

Emma Thinx: The tash: you don't know what you've snot 'til its gone. 

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Tickled Pink By Barbara's Whiskers @HitLitPRo #Movember #charity #novel

Pink lady with the heart of a wing commander
The colour pink for me means Barbara Cartland, the romantic novelist. She was a deeply conservative ultra posh lady who became Princess Diana's step grandmother I think. Apparently she did not get on with Diana and was not invited to her marriage with Charles. My personal recollection of her was when she said:

"I have the body of a young girl. I haven't got a single line on my body. I often think I should be photographed naked"

Well, she was only 95 at the time. In fact I don't have a single line on my body. All of mine are at least double or triple lines. I think I should be photographed by naked photographers. 

She was a Dame Commander of the British Empire and a knight of the order of Saint John. She wrote  a huge number of novels and holds the Guinness Book Of Records title for the most novels published in a year - 23 titles in 1983. It makes NaNoWriMo look pretty limp. In all she sold 1000 million books, mainly romances but also about the health benefits of honey and vitamins. 

But, her writing was but a small part of the story. She is also credited with inventing the idea of towing gliders behind powered aircraft as a means of defeating Nazi Germany on D day. It is widely rumored that in in order to convince the Air Ministry of her discovery, she wore a wing commander mustache. Quite simply the top brass would not take her seriously dressed in pink chiffon. This is one of the great untold stories of World War 2. Anyone doubting the truth of this should check out the 1984 Bishop Wright Air
Barbara had balls enough to fly gliders
Industry Award
which acknowledges her contribution. 

The woman was a marvel. She was involved in racing cars and brought out an album of love songs recorded with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. Reading her life story is an inspiration. Just think - all her heroines were gasping horrified virgins. Now that's where I've been going wrong!

Now, Babs is the last of my hairy honeys. All of these women lived in the daring spirit of Movember. Now you can do your bit and buy the bloody book. Let's Hear It For The Boys

Emma Thinx: Every candy floss is heavy with a child's hope.

Thursday, 20 November 2014

Who's Afraid of Virginia's Mustache? @HitLitPro @MovemberUK @Movember

When things got dark and hairy Mo Sista Virginia was a lighthouse.
Some things my friends are stranger than fiction. My bearded lady this week is none other than pinnacle of intellectual writers - Virginia Woolf.

Now, I must confess that her style was a bit high brow for me. I did read "To The Lighthouse" a few years ago when I was considering applying to join a Novelists' Association as a virginal novice supplicant. I knew my lack of lit-cred could be a problem. Her book is said to be the prime distillation of modernist genius. It's about visiting a lighthouse, or not, or why.  I realised quite early that I was a thicko or at least a neo-post-modernist material girlie philistine.  I knew I needed to improve myself and battled on with "Mrs Dalloway". It was all about a woman planning a party. Dear me - it was so so so deep into party planning. In the end I shelved the Literary Association ambitions and learned to self publish. I knew my place.
Mo-Sista Virginia is on the far left posing as an Abyssinian Royal

Although not educated enough to really understand her books or even my own split infinitives, I got to like the woman. She had an outrageous sense of fun. She was also involved in one of the first ever Movember stunts. In 1910 Virginia took part in the famous Dreadnought hoax with a group of other intellectuals. Posing as a group of Abyssinian Royals they bluffed their way onto the flagship of the Royal Navy, HMS Dreadnought. All manner of ceremonies and gun salutes were played out in their honour. Virginia herself sported a full beard. Now - that's my sort of high brow! Me -  I just wander about in Walmart with a false mustache. Sad thing is - no one notices. 

To be serious, she was a troubled soul who took her own life. Let's not forget that the Movember charity is also very involved with mental health issues. SO......

DOWNLOAD OUR BLOODY BOOK. You'll get a good read and do some good.

Emma Thinx: When lovin' is a must, sistas got a stash.

Sunday, 16 November 2014

Mustache On The Orient Express @HitLitPro @MovemberUK @Movember #Charity #book

Agatha on 30th Movember 1926. 
Agatha Christie was one the world's greatest crime writers. From Miss Marple to Hercule Poirot she created some of the most enduring detective heroes of literature.

Far greater than anything she wrote was the story of her own disappearance on December 3rd 1926. This remains the greatest of her mysteries. Many learned books have been written about what may have happened. It is known that her car was found abandoned in Surrey, a county of southern England. Ten days later she was uncovered at an hotel in Harrogate, Yorkshire - a point hundreds of miles to the north. She was staying there in disguise. In the meantime the entire British police service and the general public were looking for her. The first ever aerial search in Britain was carried out over the area where her car had been found.

David Suchet as Hercule Poirot
Photographic evidence that has just come into my possession has revealed the true reason for her disappearance. Only now can I expose the facts. Yes - she had grown a mustache. The date of her disappearance is significant. She had grown her new friend during the month of Movember. At the end of the month her friends and publishers knew that her adoring public would never accept her new persona. In those days sistas had fewer life options. Her marriage was on the rocks and her mustache was her only friend and link to the true love of her life - Hercule Poirot whom she had met on the blank page of life in 1920. It was classic Pygmalion complex. Her mustache was a homage to her famous detective. Rather than lose the mustache, she ran away to Yorkshire. It was one place where she could hope for acceptance.

But why Yorkshire? Come on folks - it's just so obvious my dear Watson. Harrogate was a watering hole of the Brontë Sistas, who published their original stories and poems under male pseudonyms. This was a place where scribe-sistas routinely took on the personas of men.  It's all so clear when  a great detective translates the clues. There will be a meeting of everyone involved in the dining car later but you guys reading this, need not attend. 

Orient Express dining car. Her clue could reveal a detective's identity

A dull thud broke the silence at Calin Towers
In the meantime a mysterious thud brought the maid running out into the hall at Calin Towers. Fearing that yet another murdered aristocrat had tumbled down the stairs it was a fantastic surprise to see an Amazon parcel filled with the tactile real book editions of "Let's Hear It For The Boys". Now I can get on up and get out there on the trail. Let's jam a copy under a few noses and see the results. If a picture is worth a thousand words it follows that a few thousand words are gonna be worth a picture with some celeb' who secretly longs to meet me. Schimples.

Buy our bloody book etc ....... 

Emma Thinx: Tall stories show their legs in shorts.

Saturday, 15 November 2014

We've Got Our Litz Bitz Out For The Boyz - @Movember @HitLitPro #Charity #book

Feel'em Friday eh? If I had one like this I'd do it daily.
Open your saucy red top for some pun in the SUN
That's done it. More cheeky headline slut-smut from the mistress of mischief. Yes - all us girls in the fab Hit Lit Pro team have got their litz bits right out there for all those boys who read the UK's only great national paper for red blooded work hardened males and those who love them - THE SUN. 

My American readers may not know and love THE SUN as well as we do in the UK. To give you a flavour, today is "FEEL' EM FRIDAY" - a medical feature encouraging men to unzip and slip their commanding strong yet sensitive hands around the old block and tackle to check it out for health issues. Oooh! I may have to stop in a minute to calm myself down.
When Kim heard she was in the same edition she dressed to impress

The fact is that THE SUN has featured the Hit Lit Pro "Let's Hear It For The Boys" Movember men's health charity collection. So far they are the only national to give us a plug. So - come on all you posh journalists and the BBC - you've got the same equipment down there! You get up to the same stuff as the hunky SUN readers. 
It says buy the book and help to save lives !!!!

Just think - we're all in the same edition as Kim Kardashian. I hope she checks out her bits too. I sure check mine out but so far THE SUN has not shone on me. If we're talking pound for pound value in female flesh I fancy my chances.

Look - forget all the hype and Emma sauce. We all need to be aware and not ignore things out of embarrassment or pride. This month it's for blokes but we all know it's all year for all of us. Girls - check him out - you know he just wants to share. 

And buy our bloody book......etc

Emma Thinx: Cancer hates a sentry. Shoot first. 

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Emma's Spare Tyre Tummy Award for Saint-Jean d'Angely

You can take away a pizza but you can't take away the quality and value of Les Jacobins.
Followers of my spare tyre restaurant experiences will realise the width of my taste and indeed the widening effect of my selfless research into the ecstasy of eating. I am prepared to sacrifice my own perfect form to bring you the fullest insights possible. When not savouring foie gras and monkfish I cavort among the fried breakfasts and the fish and chips.

Today I turn my attention to pizza. The French love it. The English love it. It seems that everyone in the world has some kind of pizza format. The Italian pizza seems to have found its familiar form when tomatoes arrived in Europe in the 16th Century thanks to the Spanish colonisation of the Americas.This means that the Roman Empire rose and fell without ketchup. It also means that "Bloody Mary" queen of England 1553 - 1558 could never have added juice to her vodka. (She also would not have had any vodka because no potatoes had arrived from the Americas). Writing/researching a blog makes up for my complete lack of historical education.

If I go out for a pizza I'm looking for a big hit. I want flavour and savour. Like everyone I have used the pizza chain main street places. I've always found them clean and adequate but never special. Recently I went to the French town of Saint-Jean d'Angely to dine with friends. This was not my first time at Les Jacobins. At my last visit the place was at least fifty percent full of English diners. The menu has a large choice of beautifully cooked pizzas, the normal range of Italian dishes, salads and a very generous steak and fries option. There is a decent choice of wine by bottle, pichet, carafe or glass. There are desserts and everything you could ask for to make a wonderful convivial evening. 

I had the 30cm Clermentoise pizza and Oscar downed the Charentaise. The cost of each unit was about £8 - $13. The entire meal with wine, desserts and coffee was about £50 -$79 for three persons! However, we did not eat there just for the price. The service is great and friendly. The ambiance is welcoming with a real independently run family feel. It sure ain't any kinda chain joint. There is an outdoor terrace for warm summer evenings. If you are holidaying in the Charente-Maritime region and fancy a take-out meal this is the place to come. The staff speak English if needed.

Les Jacobins is situated in the heart of the Saint-Jean d'Angely, close to the ninth century Royal Abbey. The town centre has a medieval authenticity and is worth a visit in itself. So - Les Jacobins receive an Emma's five star Spare Tyre Tummy Award for value and excellence. Great job guys. 

Emma Thinx: You are born a pizza base. Get the toppings you want.

Wet Kissing Hairy Hunks In The UK - Moustaches for #Movember @RUSHHairBeauty @HitLitPRo

RUSH to show off my book
Vanity, thy name is Emma. Today was salon day. Beauty creating fingers pampered my follicles. Anyway - grey is closer to blonde than my brunette ever was. I'm maturing towards the target of my true self. 

I have wonderful hairdressers at the RUSH Hair and Beauty Salon in Southampton. These guys are like personality heart surgeons. You go in as a tousled tramp and come out femme fatale. Good job I had an old ASDA carrier bag in my pocket to protect my new goldilocks from the latest Atlantic gale.

We are now 11 days into Movember. In our house things are getting hairy and it's time for a snog report. I've always loved a good snog. An interesting fact is that unfaithful men and women will have extra sexual intercourse with the betrayed partner (due to increased arousal stimuli)  but withdraw from kissing them. It's obvious really isn't it. Kissing is far more intimate and - well - the other stuff is just shameless lounging by the gene pool with a spreading warmth of wine in your belly. Oooh - writing about kissing brings out my inner sun.

So - when the touch of true love gets hairy - does the emotion keep flotion? My response is that the old boy still snogs up fine. His response is that it pushes bristles up his nose and loses the moment. I tell him that orgasm is a sneeze in the soul for a woman. He tells me that in that case, for a man, it's a runny nose.

That's why only women can write romance.

Get the book on Amazon Worldwide - all proceeds to Movember

Emma thinx: If it's right, the erogenous zone is you. 

Monday, 10 November 2014

Taunton Literary Festival Book Fair

I explain to Candy Bright my interest in male physiology
Recently I was reading a guru scribe. I'm beginning to feel like the old lady in the song who swallowed a guru. She swallowed the guru to catch the guru but I don't know why she swallowed the guru. Perhaps she'll write....

This particular guru was explaining to me that any writer who used the expression "It had started to rain/boil/dance etc" was unworthy of their scribe-sista badge, author-pride epaulets and keyboard panties. Such expressions are the mark of the amateur, an all together lower creature.
Oscar's work is so heavy that it takes two poets to hold a slim book

So it was that as I arrived in Taunton for the Literary Festival book fair it started to rain. I saw it start. Yes I did.  The car suddenly became a mini submarine in an episode of the Blue Planet. Oscar tried to sound like David Attenborough by explaining "Here in the deepest of deeps, biologists are starting to identify thousands of gurus no man has ever read."

Oh yes - it rained. At the hall everything was fine and welcoming.
Paul Tobin shows off his "Flash Words" collection.
Truth to tell, the rain kept the event more or less punter free. Well, they're an awkward lot anyway! Far better to stick with fellow scribblers. I bought and swapped a heap of books and met some great literoids. It is just amazing what is out there beyond my own intergalactic marketing empire. I've got books to read by Paul Tobin, Zoe Ainsworth-Grigg,Victor Godrich, Howard Lewis, Paul Mortimer and Sinéad  Gillespie. I wanted to get one from Candy Bright but I've already got them.  All you guys stand by for blogs and reviews.

Oscar did a short reading with the Juncture 25 poetry group. Last time he spoke in public was a court appearance for parking. The beaks weren't impressed by his use of yellow line breaks. He did better this time - well, no £60 fine but I'm not sure if the dog was that interested. Oh yes - there was a lovely waggy dog. Novelists archive this kind of fun for rainy days.
All human life is there. Should keep me quiet for a while.

I had a convivial time chatting to old comrades and meeting other writers. Oscar had the chance to explain his Movember hairs and demonstrate to a young punter how to locate his prostate. We got out of town before the police arrived.

Thanks for having us in Somerset guys.
Things got hairy with my CIA Engineer

While I've been writing, a gorgeous young bearded guy came to fix the burglar alarm. He's in full Movember mode including his chest(!) and doing his bit for men's health. I couldn't miss the chance to get a snap with Paul Doherty of CIA Alarms. He was a great sport and took his embarrassment as part of his professional duty.  With CIA the customer is always right.

Emma Thinx: Digital authors don't do hard sell.

Friday, 7 November 2014

#AlexFromTarget Goes Canine

You can call me Alex
OK - this is true. A teenage girl in Texas sees a hot guy in a Target store. She gets a picture of him and sends it to her friend. Somehow it goes viral in a way that makes Ebola seem like evolution in slow motion. The world goes into a frenzy of joy, lust and greed. Alex from Target is the hottest commercial property on the planet. They're making a video game and branding cosmetics in his image and name. Ghost writers are queuing to write his life story. Offers of film stardom.....blah blah blah. Even French TV knocks President Hollande off the top of the News to cover the story. 
. Viral Alex It's a dog's life at the checkout

OK - this is true. A romantic novelist in France sees the cutest ever dog at a restaurant. She takes a snap and puts it on her blog. She waits. Let's see the true power of the internet. Believe me - this pooch had real tight balls and wasn't afraid to walk around with them sticking out. You don't get that in Target.

Emma Thinx: Pursuit of the trivial is a game called business. 

Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Postcard From Saintes

La cathedrale Saint Pierre
On a beautifully warm and still November day I wandered around the town of Saintes in Charente-Maritime France. It is only a few kilometres from my home. It is a place with a dignified charm and timeless sense of calm.
You can't help but look up
The Charente river flows on through. In the summer folks on pleasure cruises wave as they pass. As I strolled along I kinda felt that the river itself was waving as it trailed a languid wistful hand along the banks on the way to the Atlantic.

Creating this much calm must have taken a lot of work
The day was perfect. The same sort of day must have warmed the Romans when they were the masters here. It would never surprise me to see a senator proclaiming a new decree by the Arch of Germanicus. In a novel this would be a place to let my characters fall in love. As always I had my camera and send you my little post card. There are many monuments and buildings in the town. I want only to convey a flavour of the place - it's emotional quarter. As I got in the car to drive there I paused at my fig tree. There in the mellow kiss of the sun were ripened fruit. My heart and senses tacked on to the long queue that led from
My figurative baton
history to this very moment. Other eyes, other lovers, other hands had held such fruit as these for centuries. They are a baton in the relay race of life. Me - I won't let go to waiting runners - I need more laps while there is such fruit to gather and to love.

Emma Thinx: There is no history of true love. Not one has yet died.

Monday, 3 November 2014

Jane Austen Is Doing It For Mr Darcy #I'mDoingItForHim @Hitlitpro

Let's Hair it For The Boys!

"It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a moustache."

This famous quote from "Pride and Prejudice" shows how seriously Jane Austen took the issue of men's health. Few people realise that she wore a symbolic moustache in order to support the Movember charity. 

For her foresight and charitable heart the honorary title of Mo-Sista is conferred upon her by the girls at Hit Lit Pro.  I know that if she were alive today she would be doing it for her Mr Darcy and checking out his sexy bits before he pulled on those revealing breeches. 

Joining Jane Austen are some modern day literary Mo-Sistas who are doing it for their men both in fact and in fiction: Caroline James Jenny Harper, Linn B Halton, Mandy Baggot, Nikki Mason, Rosie Dean, Sheryl Browne, Zara Stoneley and ME.  Let's Hear It For The Boys! is the title and all proceeds go to the Movember charity

Emma Thinx: Female has factor x and male knows y. 

Emma's Spare Tyre Tummy Award Goes Gourmet in France

Canard - The first bite is with the eyes. Then you taste with your heart and enjoy with your soul. 
The French have many words to express culinary excellence. They have cordon bleu chefs and haute cuisine. My favourite term is La Gourmandise which kinda expresses a perfection of pleasure. It takes into account the ambiance and the sheer joy of tasting a wonderful meal. 

Monk fish - too good to eat, so you savour slowly
A few days ago I had lunch in the village of Taillebourg which lies alongside the beautiful Charente river. This was not the first time I had visited "L'Auberge des Glycines". You can check out my previous post here.

Between us we tasted duck, sea bass, filets de rouget, monk fish, souffle with grand marnier and on and on. We had a pichet of the house Bordeaux red which was as full and smooth as anything I've tasted anywhere.

An experience of beauty
Clearly the guys who run this place take pride in their work. It seems to me that they have a passion to provide an experience of beauty. They sure do succeed. 
Inside there's chocolate and caramel.....

My warmest thanks to "L'Auberge des Glycines". They top the list of Emma's Spare Tyre Tummy Awards.

P.S. They have the cutest boxer dog!
Je suis français, but you can call me Winston.

Elsewhere in life, we are now in Movember. I'm gearing up the machine to draw attention to myself - this time for a good cause as a 'Mo Sista'. The local press have just been on the phone. Oooh - let's hope we sell truck loads of the Movember anthology 'Let's Hear it For the Boys'.

Emma thinx: Take the male out of Female and you find the iron lady