Terry Tyler met a few people this weekend that you might recognise! #wwwblogs @TerryTyler4

Re-blogged from  http://www.terrytyler59.blogspot.co.uk/2015/10/new-friends-from-cyberspace.html

Guess Who I Met Last Weekend!

We’d been planning it for months, and the day finally came!

I think we first talked about it in May; it was so hard to find a weekend we could all make… so, on October 10th, I went to Sheffield to meet four friends from Rosie Amber’s Book Blog ~ I was so intrigued to meet the lady for whom I’ve been reviewing books since last Christmas, the mysterious Rosie (!), along with three others: Cathy Ryan (from Between The Lines book blog), Barb Taub and Alison Williams.  Before this post gets too filled up with links, I’ll just say that a click on their names leads to their Twitter pages and all links to blogs that I haven’t already included, etc!

Sheffield, why Sheffield?  We chose this city because it was mid way between us all – we were coming from as far north as Glasgow and as far south as Hampshire.

Barb travelled on the same train as me and we met the other three outside the hotel.  I knew what Alison and Cathy looked like from their Twitter photos, but Rosie?  I was looking for a lady in pearls with a big hat, a trug filled with roses, and a pair of secateurs…  

….but here they are!  Barb, Alison, Cathy, and ~ Rosie! 

Rosie Amber’s Review Team #RBRT!!

So we lunched at an Italian place and then spent a great afternoon in the hotel lounge/bar over coffee, discussing Rosie’s blog, bloggin/tweeting in general, reviewing, books we’ve read, plans for #RBRT, such as annual book awards and a new hashtag (more to come!); the hours flew by and I was so surprised to look at my phone and see it was 5.45 (nostalgia alert ~ do you remember when everyone used to consult watches for the time, rather than their phone?).  What struck me most was this: how lovely it is to make new friends so late in life ~ we range in age between 46 and 61.  I’ve become a lot less sociable in recent years, my attitude being ‘right, I’ve got enough friends now’, and I often find I can’t be bothered to socialise, looking forward to going home when I’m out.  Saturday, though, made me realise it’s all about being in the company of people who are obsessively interested in the same things as you! 

We left the booking of the dinner venue to Barb, who was threatening to go elsewhere on her own for her favourite sushi ~ Rosie, Cathy and I hate it (I totally love all fish, but I like it to have been introduced to a grill, or some other form of cooking appliance).

I’ve long been interested in the dynamics of groups of people; my mother used to be a therapist who led many group therapy sessions, and said that there is always one who directs which way the conversation goes; I’d say that was Barb, though Rosie and I were pretty vocal, too (well, we’re both Leos!) while Alison and Cathy listened more and talked less.  Mum told me there is usually a group ‘clown’ and sometimes an antagonist, too ~ I am not sure who wore those hats (or maybe I just don’t like to consider it!!). 

Barb and me ~ clown/antagonist/group leader?
Cathy and Alison ~ listening to Rosie, Barb and me doing most of the talking!

Our partying days all being over, we were back in our hotel rooms by 11.30 ~ aaaah!  I very much enjoy staying in hotels on my own – I don’t hang anything up or put stuff away, I just lay my clothes out on the sofa, and have my phone, glasses, iPad, etc, next to me in the empty space.  Out like a light and slept really well.  I’m not saying that my husband’s snoring wakes me up during the night, of course, I just happened to have a really good night’s sleep on my own….  

Me when I got in ~ you can tell my drinking days are over, too; 

look at my unaccustomed-to-wine eyes, and the slant of the camera!!

An early morning call enabled me to have several cups of coffee and play several games of ‘Plague’ on my iPad (you have to destroy all human life on earth by means of virus, bacteria, etc, I’m totally addicted).  And so to breakfast, which was fabulous, the meal I enjoyed most!  Couldn’t you just sit there all day with those buffet breakfasts?  I had muesli with all sorts of stuff on, and eggs and tomatoes, and fruit, and a ton more coffee…

I love this picture of Barb and Rosie!

And then it was nearly time to go….

Must get some lowlights in that hair, I look like Lucius Malfoy…

Barb took loads of photos as well and we were going to look at all the photos first, but she’s had to dash back to Washington DC on a family matter, so I’ve chosen not to wait to see her pictures; I’ll post any good ones later on, when we get them, as we got someone to take some of all of us together at the table.

To sum up ~ it was great, we all thoroughly enjoyed it and got on so well, even though we’re all quite different.  Shows how similar interests can bring people together so successfully.  We’re planning another meeting, in Spring next year, if all goes well.  There’s so much still to discuss!


Guest Author Pete Denton

We’re back with another guest author interview today. Please welcome Pete Denton to the blog, I met Pete during the April A to Z Challenge 2013 as one of the many great people who were taking part and I began to follow his blog afterwards. Pete kindly agreed to be our guest today and talk about his writing journey.

Pete DentonLet’s find our more about Pete;

1) Where is your home town?

I am from Sheffield, which is the capital city of the People’s Republic of South Yorkshire, once the stainless steel and cutlery capital of the world. Now, littered with Starbucks and Costa Coffees like the rest of the planet.

2) When did you start writing?

I think I’ve always enjoyed writing or at least imagining stories and characters in my head. At school I enjoyed English lessons and have always tinkered with stories. I wrote my first book, a dungeons and dragons style book, when I was thirteen.

3) I’m very impressed that you went “Back to school” and took a creative writing diploma, tell us why?

I’d written many first drafts, but lacked the confidence and skills to taken them to the next stage. My wife sent me an email from our union that they were paying for members to do a writing course with the Open University. I jumped at the chance and enjoyed it so much I decided to enrol for the Diploma in Creative Writing. I learnt about editing and re-drafting so I could understand what I needed to do next with my work. Having tutors and fellow students read and critique my work helped me improve my writing and it brought me into a writing group. Without doubt, the best decision of my life!

4) You have written short stories, flash fiction and scripts, tell us about some of your work.

My preference is for the longer writing. I wrote the script for my final assignment on the OU course about a teenage girl who returns home to questions from the police after being missing for three days. I keep meaning to tinker with it and send it off to the BBC as a one-off drama, but never seem to get around to it.

Short stories for the course have been enjoyable and I love writing flash fiction to help hone my skills, but I never seem to write enough of them as I’m always working on novels.

5) You’ve just completed the July Camp NaNoWriMo, what is it? how did you get on and what did you write about?

The original National Novel Writing Month or NaNoWriMo is in November and encourages you to write a 50k novel in a calendar month. Seems crazy, but it seems to work. It’s free to take part (though they encourage donations) and you find good support from fellow participants.

They also run two Camp NaNo during the year where you can set your own word count. I have to say, July seems so long ago already! I managed to hit the 50k word count, but haven’t written anything since. The novel is the second in what I hope will be my British Crime series. I need to finishing mapping out the rest of the book and just need to get my finger out and write the damned thing!

6) We met (virtually) during the April A to Z Challenge, was that your first year of taking part?

It was. I’d intended on taking part last year, but in the end didn’t have the time to dedicate myself to it properly so decided to wait until this year.

7) Would you recommend the A to Z Challenge to others? Why?

Now, there is a question! And, I’m not sure how to answer. During April, I had a blast. I had a vague plan for about a third of the posts when April hit. Looking back, I don’t think that was enough. I found it hard going trying to visit and support fellow bloggers (like yourself) taking part and keep writing the posts each evening. A title alone does not mean a post is written and ready to post!

May was a tough month as a result and my blogging seems to have suffered each month since as I seem to have had a bit of a burn-out. More planning and writing 90% of the posts ahead of time would have made all the difference so I won’t be taking part again in 2014, but might the following year. Just the reading next time.

If you post a lot anyway and have time I definitely recommend it. If in doubt maybe better to read other posts instead.

8) I loved your post “Twitter made me buy a Kindle” can you quickly tell the readers why Twitter did this?

Thanks 🙂

When I started blogging I was firmly in the NO TO E-READERS camp. Then I joined Twitter and met a whole host of writers who had self-published their work and I wanted to read them. My writing group decided to self-publish a collection of short stories from our course and I decided to take the plunge into self-publishing and e-books. The next step was to buy a Kindle.

I suffer a bit from arthritis in my hands and holding a thick book like a 600+ page David Baldacci curtails my reading time sometimes and the Kindle has solved that. Every book now weighs the same. I’ve downloaded loads of e-book that are not available in print. I’m so glad Twitter forced me to make the purchase.

9) Do you go down the e-book route for all of your own work?

So far, my only published work is in the anthology. I do plan on self-publishing when the time is right and I finish my latest draft.

10) Where can readers find your blog? What are your writing plans for the rest of 2013?

 You can find me at http://petedenton/wordpress.com and I do plan on stepping up my blogging again as it’s a great way to get back into a regular writing routine.

Plans for 2013 are to finish the latest draft of my crime novel. Once that is done it will be off to my beta readers and I’ll take it from there. I hope to finish the first draft of the follow-up by the end of the year and try and self-publish and see what happens.

Thank you Pete and Good Luck with the writing, is anyone going to be taking on the NaNoWriMo this November?