Tuesday 28 October 2014

Life Came Out Of The Sea. That's Why She's A Beach.

If Life is a beach for Pete's sake sit on a sandy one
Of course I am back home in France. I've been munching the molluscs, philandering with the fromages and crunching the crusts. I'm lost in an allegory of alimentary alliteration.  I tell everyone that I'm on a diet - well I am. It's the French diet and it's so easy that it's gonna be the next Rockbuster. Before every meal you run upstairs and put on a beret and stripey jumper. The extra exercise compensates for those few additional calories. For best results you need to live in a lighthouse.
Oxytocin is the formula for love. You can.cook this up this at home! 

The diet only works if you take a vitamin D and serotonin supplement in the form of sunbathing. Charente-Maritime usually obliges with plenty of hot sun even at this time of year. The endless sandy beaches, the muscular young surfer dudes and dudettes put on a live show for us serious health freaks on the serotonin highway. As the sun shines through the top of the breaking waves you can feel the pulse of life all the way through to your oxytocins.  Oooh - it's a real shudder in your rudder just to be alive here. 
This is my mo-man

You will have noted my intense interest in technical hormonal matters. Recently I've been involved in a secret project very much concerned with health consciousness. Today I am not able to reveal too much. I can't resist a little tease. I took the hair cutting tools to my man and created a special Mohican style. I've called it the Mo-stash. Can you guess why?

Emma thinx:   Femme is fatale. Sistas get whiskas. 

Monday 20 October 2014

Emma Spare Tyre Tummy Award Gets Real In London

As English as a red bus, as warm as a smile in the eyes. 
In my new role as glitzy guru-go-gal I travelled to London. What a place it is these days. I zoomed in on an express train. I took a fast launch up the Thames from Waterloo to Greenwich by the O2 Arena.  I soared across the Thames on the Emirates Air Line cable car and boarded the Docklands Light Railway to Stratford. And then things got even better.....
Quantum Cloud by Anthony Gormley. Spot the man in the cloud.

I arrived at the Railway Tavern, 131 Angel Lane, Stratford, London E15 1DB. In this hotel world of chrome and glass logo splattered corporate spam, I had arrived at an oasis. This is a real London pub with old fashioned service and hospitality. The proprietors Tom and Jan Dooner just could not do enough to make me comfortable. I had dinner of first class fish and chips. I slept well and started the day on a full English breakfast that was FULL and ENGLISH. Oooh, I'm thinking back to those thick slices of juicy bacon, sausage, tomatoes, fried egg, baked beans and all the toast you could dream of. Naturally, there were generous pots of hot strong English tea and all the options of cereals, fruit and Muesli. Next time I go to London, this is where I'm going and I'd advise anyone to do the same. Go on! Let go and award yourself a treat - you deserve it. I won't tip off the cholesterol cops. You ain't gonna get the chance ev'ry day are ya?

In short me old muckers - this place is gem. The staff are diamond geezers. It takes its place in the Cosmo-international hall of fame that is the Emma's Spare Tyre Tummy Award. If you want genuine London, value for money, warm hospitality, a great bed  and a right old hard core cockney nosh up - this is where to go.

Michelin stars are trailing behind the spare tyre tummy awards. Book soon before the snobs catch up and get real.

Emma Thinx: You can put lipstick on a pig but you can't fake a bacon breakfast.  

Saturday 18 October 2014

Sister Act Gets Technical

Guru Gal Struts Her Stuff With Steam Punk Laptop                                
Imagine waking up one morning and finding yourself re-branded as a guru. Could anyone seriously believe that I know enough about anything to advise others? Surely this world is run by folk who are competent. Ah well - maybe not when you think about it!

So, I was honoured and flattered to be invited to address some young women on the subject of e publishing, audio books and getting a life in the modern IT world. Most young folk I know are miles ahead of me with apps and snaps I've never heard of. 

Even so, thanks to the dynamic Jo Tasker, organiser of "Technopop" at the London Olympic site, I turned up on Thursday to be an inspirational dame for a group of young women. The idea was to geek up the gals and motivate the maidens for a full frontal assault on the testosterone towers of male techno dominance. Just being there made me feel important. Paris may be the city of lovers. London is the city of shovers. It's a beehive of bustle.
Old and new London in the same old flow

There's only one thing more daunting than a room filled with teenage girls - and that's a room filled with hungry teenage girls in the slot before lunch. Oooh - I know that rumble! All the same I strutted my stuff and told them the tale. Since my romance titles are hardly suitable for young ladies, I had to create a series of children's books to use as a case study. Guess what they really wanted to know about? Yes, the hunky Romance heroes. After their ordeal at my hands the girls made off for food. I collapsed with exhaustion and relief. During my lecture I had tipped a bottle of water into my computer. Luckily it's an old steam punk model. Of course this was to demonstrate my technical skills. I do like a bit of slapstick. 

A shout out for Danny who fitted my microphone. As he slotted my audio body pack under my top he told me I had the oldest equipment he'd ever seen. I didn't know how to respond until I saw he was staring at my lap top. I was quite worried for a moment.

All the admin for my visit was sorted out by the efficient and helpful Wendy Godley. She deserves my thanks.

Technopop is on until 2nd November and is free entry for children and students. 

Emma thinx: Modernity - updates are ready to download.

Friday 10 October 2014

One of many faces that launched a ship - well, an ocean-going solo row boat actually @Oceansproject @TechnopopLondon #greatbritishvikingquest

The hull of Sarah Weldon's Viking Quest solo rowing boat
I know there was an American TV show called "Queen for a day". I am too young to have seen it. No worries because yesterday I knew how those folk felt. I was in one of those places where only the Queen and oily rag Bruce Springsteen types get to be. Yes - a boat launch.

Sunset at the Olympic Park, London
I dressed myself in my jewels and finery, left my computer and travelled to London. Could I survive without the internet? Would I meet that sexy billionaire perfect lover I've always been writing about? Big glitzy openings and fashion shows are where little meez always collide awkwardly with that eyebrow tweaking Count Lorenzo Wealthasmo. Well, no actually but I am a Romantic scribbler after all. 

What links a solo rower and a romance writer?

It was far better than that! I met Sarah Weldon. This gal is a real hero. In 2015 she is gonna row her boat solo around the British Isles and raise £100,000 for charity. Yes, she is going to confront the oceans with nothing but the strength of her arms and courage. She is going to follow in the footsteps of the Vikings except that footsteps are quickly swept away in water. Maybe she'll use G.P.S? I think that Nokkia is a Viking brand. 

It's all for a truly worthwhile cause.  Sarah is the founder of The Oceans Project.   Her Great British Viking Quest is a 14-week, 3000 mile, world first, solo row around Great Britain. She will be retracing the oar strokes of Viking seafarers, warriors, and conquerors, bringing ocean literacy, environmental, and STEM education to life for students worldwide. Funds raised will provide access to education for some of the world's most disadvantaged young people, helping every child 'go for gold' in whatever they do.

She will be hooked up to various head-bands, body-suits and muscle monitoring devices. These will link, via satellite, to scientists and students who will monitor how her mind and body cope with the stresses of extreme physical exertion, unusual sleep patterns and living on a diet of freeze-dried food for fourteen weeks.  She will be broadcasting live classroom lessons to over 17,000 pupils around the world on Skype.
My good-luck wish to Sarah - Sharpies Rule!

The hull of her boat was officially unveiled at a VIP party (that's why I was there!) at The Technopop Exhibition in London's Olympic Park on 7th October.  I have to say it looks a massive vessel for one person to handle. Luckily Sarah is having rowing lessons from the best in the field - none other than Olympic Silver Medallist Debbie Flood. 
Sarah Weldon and Debbie Flood

The boat is on display at Technopop 2014 until the 2nd of November. Over 100,000 children are expected to visit in the next four weeks.  I'm back up there on the 16th October to give a presentation to teenage girls about the impact and use of technology in my audio book production and publishing business. 

Pssst: Not a mention of the old romance novels please ( that would get me into BIG trouble with the headmaster ).  I've even had to bring out a series of children's books to use for my case study, so as not to corrupt any young minds!

And who do I have to thank for this chance to perform to a captive audience?  Well - Sarah Weldon of course!  I first met her last year when we were both screen-testing for a Yorkshire Gold Tea commercial. I was fascinated by her rowing project.  I've even donated some of my e-books and audiobooks to keep her warm and revved up during her lonely nights on the ocean. I think that's what romance writers are for.

Sarah is a warm, inspiring and motivated woman. Her drive and desire to advance disadvantaged kids will push her on through some hard times at sea. It is a privilege to be just a little bit on board with a true captain of dreams.

Emma thinx: Inspiration, piling stones into cathedrals.

Friday 3 October 2014

Review of #thriller The Edge Of Sanity by @SherylBrowne #tense #drama

Looking back, I don't say much about writing. Maybe deep down I don't think I am a writer. Maybe I'm a lasagna guru or a laundry operative with delusions of poverty. Maybe I'm a French maid or an audio book producer. Maybe I'm a vacuum cleaner analyst, a taxi driver or school homework consultant. Time is running short. With more than fifty years and a power point presentation of kids in the CV it's about time to wise up and get a foothold in something. I'll start once I've peeled all the carrots and sorted out a book cover. You see, I can focus.

photo courtesy http://treelifecoaching.com/

I do know I'm a reader. In the whole rickety house of publishing, the reader is what matters. They are the walls and the footings. All the rest is huff puff and show biz.  The true talent of the reader is to suspend disbelief and follow the trail. My latest read has been The Edge of Sanity by Sheryl Browne. I had read a couple of her other books before and count myself as a fan. This book was like nothing she has done before. It is a tense psychological thriller with elements of drug abuse, teenage rebellion, violence and crime. All of this is set against a backdrop of personal tragedy and a dysfunctional relationship. Wow! 

Here is my Amazon review:

This is a page turner where you never know where you are going next. From the outset, Daniel Conner drew my sympathy. You kinda know that things are going out of control in a life that has already known tragedy. This is a dark story yet among it all there is a thread of hope and almost humour in places. Few authors would risk a chase involving police on bikes and a canal boat in the middle of a terrifying drama. The writer has obviously studied or experienced teenage psychologies and the haphazard life style of detectives. As I was reading I identified so much with the characters that I kept asking myself what I would do in their place. At times I felt quite anxious and had to assure myself I was just reading. The ending is not a cut off but rather a jagged tear or rip. Life is uncertain - an edge may fray or not. This is a tight tense read that is never quite finished with you.

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Emma Thinx: A good book sets you free by keeping you pinned down