A mess and a muddle to sort:)


I have been missing from this weekly check-in for the whole summer at least for which I apologise.  Life has loomed large. Great political upheavals and continuing morality issues around the world have all threatened my new found relief from long term depression. My arthritic wrists have become so painful the amount of work I can manage, involving them, has been reduced dramatically. Unfortunately I am allergic to anti inflammatory drugs and really don’t want to be taking painkillers all and every day.

I have been using my hands in the garden. I began last year to re-jig my outside space to enable me to cope as age continues its inevitable journey, I think, I may, just get it finished in time.

All the beds have been replanted with shrubs, bulbs and hardy perennials. Vegetables , time consuming if delicious, have gone. Fruit bushes and trees relocated to the wild garden; I no longer make jam or chutney – so  am giving up the yearly fight with the birds, I have given them to wildlife complete with no strings attached:)

The wilderness was mostly tamed last summer, this summer has been about a massive pruning programme and also filling the beds with lovely cottage garden and wild flowers. Next year – fingers crossed I get to sit and enjoy:)

Now I am in the process of closing the garden down for the year I will have more time to concentrate on the writing/editing.

Mostly The Children’s Tale was written, but over the course of three or four years of illness and depression, it had been written in many guises; several POVs, several frameworks, started-put aside-started again, time and time again.

It was a mess and it is with that muddle I have been struggling all this summer.
At last it is taking shape – I hope the final shape:)

So what for THIS ROUND  of ROW80

Yes, I’m finally back! Hi there everyone:) I hope nothing goes wrong – the children are growing more insistent their tale is told:)


Editing, editing and yet more editing! I cannot in all honesty say it is my favourite occupation but it is happening. The Children’s Tale marches forward apace and is becoming cleaner every day.  I also have to locate what’s missing and write fillers/connections. The slowness of the whole process this time around is about changing the tense and rewriting some scenes entirely to fit the new structure. Not quite a major overhaul but pretty well near.

Blogs: They have been non existent for months so am hoping to get back into the flow. Not committing as it depends on hands; do have lots of ideas and topics I want to write about. I have posted on albertareads for Musing Monday

Reading: Have read a great deal this summer complete with pillow on my lap so I haven’t had to hold the books. On my Goodread challenge I am up to 100 out of my challenge of 110. About the only aim which has been achieved!

Others: I did start a Pinterest board for The Children’s Tale, an idea I picked up here on ROW80. I will need to create cover and trailer for The Children’s Tale later in the round, have thought about it during the summer and have some ideas – good I hope.

Otherwise life progresses, a little to fast for my liking, but it is still fun. All the best to other ROWers.


Parcels, texture and editing


Have had a good week for receiving parcels – I do like a parcel:) I have been on e-bay buying more plants for Year Two of reconstructing my garden from labour intensive edible to less work wilderness er no wild garden:)The clement weather I was hoping for has come and gone so nothing has been planted yet but, they are smashing plants – I do like e-bay – my entire garden for 15 years has come from this place and hardly a dud amongst them. They sit in a cool light place awaiting their time in the sun.

There have also been some new clothes from there as well. I do like parcels not sure the bank manager does!

I have begun baking again, having discovered melted cake mixtures. I had struggled for a long time now with wrist and hand joints that just don’t like rubbing, mixing or creaming ingredients. As cakes and biscuits are not essential, I had given up the struggle. Now – well fortunately I do not have so much spare time we will be gorging ourselves, but it is nice to eat homemade again:)

Had two day workshop last week on textured embroidery which left said wrists quite swollen but I had such fun and learnt so much it was worth it. Now I can settle back with Dragon and give wrists a rest.


All behind due to connection with Internet coming adrift for a couple of days!


So the whole of this month is still abut editing – I am with NaNoEdMo again this year and am on track for the 50 hours. Finally, I believe I have worked out The Children’s Tale – it has taken so long but maybe I’m there.

Those who have been around these past few years may remember I ended with two stories instead of one and had to separate them and begin again, then I was ill and had to struggle to meld different pieces together when I recovered – it has never been an easy tale to write and I couldn’t figure out what was wrong. After a long spell last year not touching it and re-reading it afresh I saw the problem. I had strayed over time from the normal structure of the series. I had strayed from the archival backbone of the Chronicles.

This round of editing will be long. I had 80,00 already written and now have to go through it all and change the structure, the personal pronouns and the tense of all those words. Separate chapters into one person narratives. Different view points on a scene!

I have begun this year and although it is amazingly hard work it progresses satisfactorily and begins to sound better. The concentration required leaves me flattened but am managing at least 2 – 3 hours a day. I can see a lot more will be needed after this sweep, as even now I am finding the wrong tense /pronoun hiding away. I had autocritted everything before I had discovered the fatal flaw so that continues alongside the changes. In finding different ways of eliminating repeated words and phrases I am also managing to change the flawed bits.

I don’t think this exercise will make me like editing, but this time the process is fascinating. Watching how whole pages change as I change just one or two words.

Blogs: have managed to keep up with these however, still haven’t moved all blog from blogger to wordpress. Must get those last few transferred.Have two blogs on kissafrog – When Spaghetti Grew on Trees and Great Aunts and the Danger of Exposed Flesh. Have written up two books for Literary Movement Reading Challenge Milton’s Areopagitica and Christopher Marlow’s Doctor Faustus.
The usual Musing Mondays and Writer’s Quote.

The A-Z planning is going well, most are drafted now but a deal of polish still needed. If I can get them done in time I may take some time off blogging in April and concentrate on new garden. One can have dreams:)

Networking: so-so not helped by connection going. Playing catch up on commenting

Reading is going well am now 12 ahead on the Goodreads Challenge total standing at 27 books this year.Gives me lots of wriggle room later in the year.

Life: not so bad especially now I can see spring around every corner. Still a little cold for my lungs but oh the sunshine and life rustling outside is making me very restless to be there. Have sorted some fabric out from stash of clothes that no longer fit which I have plans to combine into something which will fit! Made a dozen more scrumbles in blues, yellows and orange to celebrate the sunshine.

Next week: more of more of.

I hope everyone has had a good week and best of luck for the coming days.

This week or more has been mainly editing editing and yet more editing

machines, orange hair and scary monday



It is interesting when stuff goes wrong on the computer and cyberspace.

This week has been interesting.

Ignore the old curse ‘may you live in interesting times’, nothing major happened. My albertareads blog went haywire. Putting widgets into footer areas which didn’t exist! And leaving a bar advertising the theme across the top of the blog. The first I fixed eventually after applying some diminishing brain cells and logic to the problem. But the theme advert I had no way of working out.

I called the forum.
Please Help me.
They did splendidly.

They were all sure it was wrong code – I never touch the code I told them, I did not know how to check it.

Please Help.
They did.
It was two bits of stray code they put it right.
I am smiling again.

Before that happened my computer presented a totally blank screen. Nothing. Zilch. Switch on /off. Tightened connections. Switched of  at main. Walked away. Left the machine.

Phoned computer people, after many different calls I was told to read out the serial number.
Underneath machine.

Thought I needed to unscrew, searched for screw driver small enough to do, then when actually managed it he told me shouldn’t have done that. So had to screw back in.! Finding battery was easy actually. Thought one of clasps was looser than other – after he had vanished into a broken connection I got to thinking about loose catches. Turned machine on again & voila, working just fine, battery was loose was all.

Not the Internet though, had to wait two more days before that decided to come back to me.

Did I tell you have changed my hair from turquoise and pink to orange and copper!:)

hair2 still remains of blue in there will get brighter.







I have news, big news for me anyway. Tomorrow – Monday 9th I am going to a local reading group to discuss Ellen’s Tale with them.

Scary Monday!

I hate talking in public with the problem I have with getting words in the wrong order, and not being able to elucidate what I am thinking, but they assure me it wont be like a ‘talk’, just sitting around chatting. I think I can manage that- hope anyway. I do know two of them so that will help. Wish me luck please:)


 I wanted to start serious editing this month and it is amazing what can be done if no access to Internet is available:) However the backlog of commenting, emails etc that can accumulate in that short time is amazing.I have been trying to create an order to The Children’s Tale it has been written in bits over three years, through illness and depression, has changed it’s format twice and I have decided to pull it back to the format the others were written in, which will mean changing tenses all the way through!


I have been editing and on The Children’s Tale I clocked up just over 8,000 words of 2nd revision stage. So spelling, repeated words, basic punctuation, tenses and order has been established. Needs polishing next time round
On my memoirs (based on blogging) I have done my final edits on one section (approx 13,000) running spell check through again, checking for punctuation and missing words. Needs my friend from forever/editor’s tender touch now:)


Missed out a bit this week as I wasn’t up on cyberspace to post them. I sang from ballroom to choir and quoted Chesterton and Mused on Monday all the others remained in my Scrivener file down here
Researching: Been working hard on A-Z challenge in April and have the theme, plus 37 subjects could use. Now to weed out some and then try and match them to the alphabet.

Networking: managed to catch up on stuff I must do and am beginning to comment where I don’t have too.

Others: Still trying to build up numbers on my new Twitter http://twitter.com @al_berta_ross if any would like to follow me on that one as well would be most grateful:)

Reading: after my readathon last month I took time out to read three urban fantasies for light relief. Had to re-read Ellen’s Tale again for tomorrow.

Life: Haven’t had much time for self this week, but managed another two scrumbles, didn’t really like my last journal page so am practicing re-cycling and painted it all over- very liberating. Got out twice but been too cold for me.

Hope everyone had a trouble free week and all the best for this coming one:)