November Lockdown

It’s lockdown again.

And that gives me an excuse to write a nice lengthy post about everything going on in my life and how your favourite new books are shaping up – as well as an update on kitties!

All My Fur Babies

Since we last spoke, Figaro and Ember have been doing really well. They’re both growing very fast and developing their respective cat shapes. Fig is clearly going to be tall and slim, whereas his brother is becoming chunkier and well built.

It’s lovely to see them both doing so well. Even nicer, this second lockdown has meant that I’ve been able to spend more time with them – especially as they’ve both just been snipped.

They each have their own individual personalities developing, too. Fig is quite happy being inside and with people. He’s really very friendly, which Jasper is finally beginning to tolerate (we all know he’s grumpy and selfish with his humans’ attention). He also wants to cuddle most of the time. And when he’s not cuddling or sleeping, he positions himself on the floor directly in the middle of his toys to play with them all at once.

Ember is slightly less outgoing, but equally as lovely. He spends most mornings outside running about in the fields or gardens and then in the afternoons he recuperates on his favourite sofa. This is when he’s not sat beside the fridge begging for cat milk. He also seems to enjoy one on one time with specific people of his choosing at specific times of day. And when he wants your attention? You get followed with a little chirrup until you notice him.

Lockdown Baking

I don’t know how you guys have been spending your lockdown, but, so far, I’ve tried to be productive with mine. I know a lot of people have been putting up Christmas decorations or starting new hobbies.

If I’m honest, this lockdown I’ve just continued doing some of the things I did last time. For example, I’ve been baking a lot. Mr Bear really likes flapjack so I started making that in the last lockdown and have just continued from there. It’s really nice flapjack, but maybe not the sort of thing you should eat if you’re on a diet.

Though, what’s the point in a diet any more when we keep yo-yoing in and out of lockdown? Not to mention, Christmas is on its way and, if there are no Christmas parties, you might as well put on a little fat to keep you warm and lower your heating bills. Or am I just using it as an excuse to eat…?

Anyway, if you want my flapjack recipe (I like it with raisins in) you can try it here:

The original recipe is from the Be-Ro cookbook, which my family have used in various incarnations over the years.

I’ve also made millionaires shortbread, which is much more difficult to make. Especially if you have an electric hob, which means you’re always at risk of burning the caramel because you can’t get the heat to lower fast enough.

Lockdown DIY

I’ve also managed to finish a few DIY jobs that I started in the last lockdown, like painting the furniture in the bedroom to finally have it all matching and bright. I’ve even added a fake fireplace as a feature to an awkward diagonal wall. It’s the wall where the fireplace would have been in the bedroom originally but has obviously been removed many years ago (our house is a 1930s house).

It looks really good, as I’m sure you can see from the photos. It also means that our bedroom is more romantic and we have more storage. You see, the fireplace I ordered opens with hidden cupboard space. The next job is to properly affix it to the wall, but that may have to wait a while as I really want to change the flooring in the bedroom, too.

We currently have a carpet with a very ugly and outdated pattern. I really want to swap it for some nice laminate, which will be easier to clean. We already have a couple of grey, fake sheepskin rugs for either side of the bed, so getting up when it’s cold outside won’t be an issue.

Alpha Wolf Book 2: Alpha Submission

If you haven’t been keeping an eye on the desktop version of my website, then you may not have noticed my word count for Alpha Submission has been steadily increasing throughout lockdown, so far.

I have the cover complete – keep your eyes peeled for a cover reveal in the coming weeks! And I’m also over the halfway mark.

I’m sure those of you who read Alpha Domination during our first lockdown are relieved to find out that the sequel is coming, albeit slowly but surely. There’s still quite a bit to do, however, so if you’re chomping at the bit for something similar (but not the same), you should try Breaking Cadence, the start of my Survival Trilogy. That series is complete and should hopefully keep you going until Alpha Submission is in the editing phase, at the very least.

Indigo Skies Book : Through The Veil

Whilst I’ve been storming ahead with Alpha Submission, I’ve been leaving Through The Veil, the next book in the Indigo Skies series. I still intend to finish it, but there are a few things I feel like I need to go back and look at before I’m totally happy with it.

Through The Veil – Book 6 of the Indigo Skies series.

Hopefully, I’ll still have time to do that during lockdown, but, if I don’t, be assured that it will be completed. It just might not be completed as fast as Alpha Submission. The problem isn’t with the plot or anything major. Really, it’s the last scene I wrote where things just didn’t end up the way I wanted them to and I can’t continue with it until that particular issue is sorted.

Of course, once it is, that completion metre will start going up again. So keep an eye out!

NaNoWriMo

Every year I say this, but to those of you doing NaNoWriMo:

I salute you!

I’ve never managed to do NaNoWriMo and, had I known that we would be in lockdown again, I might have considered it this year. The people who do manage to do it really impress me. It’s hard to write so much in so little time. Moreso, if you manage to do it without suffering burnout.

So keep going, guys! You’re doing a hell of a job! (And I’m totally jealous.)

Christmas Presents

I don’t know about you, but lockdown has also given me an excuse to start looking at (and buying) Christmas presents. This year I’m expecting that the postal service will be under more strain due to Covid-19, so I figured it would be prudent to get started even earlier.

After all, everybody will be ordering online so they don’t have to go into shops with cases on the rise.

We also plan to put up the Christmas decorations at the weekend. Of course, that’s only if I can wait that long. As regular readers will know, I’m a bit of a sucker for getting the decs up and starting some Christmas cheer.

Christmas Movies!

Christmas means I have to watch Miracle on 34th Street with the awesome Sir Richard Attenborough and Mara Wilson (who also writes and is generally amazing). Because, if I don’t watch that film, it isn’t Christmas.

My favourite film, When Harry Met Sally, also has Christmas and New Year themes, so I think I can get away with watching that again for the millionth time, too. Especially that heart squeezing monologue by Billy Crystal:

SallyI’m sorry, Harry. I know it’s New Year’s Eve. I know you’re feeling lonely, but you just can’t show up here, tell me you love me and expect that to make everything all right. It doesn’t work this way.

Harry Well, how does it work?

Sally I don’t know, but not this way.

Harry Then how about this way? I love that you get cold when it’s 71 degrees out, I love that it takes you an hour and a half to order a sandwich, I love that you get a little crinkle above your nose when you’re looking at me like I’m nuts, I love that after I spend the day with you, I can still smell your perfume on my clothes, and I love that you are the last person I wanna talk to before I go to sleep at night. And it’s not because I’m lonely, and it’s not because it’s New Year’s Eve. I came here tonight because when you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible.

What are your favourite Christmas films? Tell me in the comments and let me know why. I always love a good movie.

Salut!

Don’t forget to…

Stay safe. Stay well. And stay reading.

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