Living Between the Lines

Stretching the Truth

Halloween and I have a strange relationship. All Hallow’s Eve falls on the day before my birthday. Last year, on a family get together in a Scottish faux castle, (the brochure had stretched the truth a little in declaring it an old Castle. It is a downsized replica of Warwick Castle, apparently,) my birthday was preceded by a big Halloween party. Who had the energy for another the following night?
Mind you, it was an excellent party though I say so myself.
My adult children had all surpassed themselves with their costumes/decorations and planning. Our grandchildren were only too happy to put on their costumes though the younger ones had little idea why they were dressed so outlandishly.
The suits of armour (the castle was decked out perfectly) provided hours of entertainment and lent themselves well to scary stories about headless Knights. When my eldest son donned one of the helmets, he frightened the life out of the three year olds. I was a little concerned as well – would he ever be able to get it off?
I am just pleased that I had the good sense to stay put and avoid being born on the 31st. I am so much better suited to All Saints Day!

Florence not sure if she likes it or not…
Possibly William…who knows?…
An almost real Scottish Castle
Leon…spookily angelic
We are not sure…
A less scary Uncle opens the door…
A Family meal

Meanwhile, I have been working on my latest novel, Once Upon a Christmas Eve. It has been read, it has been edited and now I am having a cover designed by a professional designer (who happens to be my daughter). I can’t wait to start promoting it as an e-book. Well, why wait?
My book stretches the imagination every bit as much as Halloween. It is a tale of two families whose paths cross in a ghostly fashion, with disastrous results for both. Can a tragedy be undone? That is the question facing Beatrice as her life changes, perhaps for ever.

This one has beaten it to the finish line as other Works in Progress wait in the wings but they are not forgotten. In fact, the release of one will herald my release to work on the others.

This will be the first year in a long while, that I have not joined NaNoWriMo. My reasons are simple. Personal circumstances in November will not allow the dedication to writing that NaNoWriMo demands and deserves. Last year I re-wrote Once Upon a Christmas Eve, from start to finish and have been fine tuning it ever since. I can heartily recommend NaNoWriMo to anyone thinking of trying it. One gets 30 days in which to write 50,000 words but in reality, that 30 days dwindles to almost half when you factor in the unexpected and in my case, elderly mothers coming to stay or childcare responsibilities being thrust upon one. Sometimes, it is hard to find the time to commit words to paper or screen but it is worth it, believe me, if you can. I almost wish I could.

Next year, I may well take up the challenge again but for now, NaNoWriMo is a NoNo. As for the cover design and the ebook – I will keep you posted!

I am an Author, wife to one, mother to five and grandmother to six. I live in the English countryside in Hampshire, UK, with my husband and two dogs and am a non exec Director for Glow


  • juliathorley

    Happy birthday for tomorrow (it was mine on Sunday). My late father-in-law was born on 31st October, but a less scary man it’s hard to imagine.

    • Debbie

      Hi Julia, Thank you and a Happy belated birthday! A more subdued Halloween this year for us. I don’t suppose I am any more saintly than your uncle was scary 😉

  • hilarymb

    Hi Debbie – Happy belated (almost) birthday … sounds like those celebrations were great fun though … and the kids will have enormous fun remembering all the ghostly comings and goings …

    Excellent news about your book – and lucky you with a daughter up and running for cover design … “Once Upon A Christmas Eve” sounds great fun … and so good luck for all things now till the launch of Christmas Eve … cheers and have a wonderful year ahead – Hilary

  • Patricia

    Debbie – my best friend was born on Oct 31st and she loves it knowing that so many are having fun on her birthday! My youngest child’s speech therapist was born on April 1 ( April Fools Day) and her sister Oct 31, their father always introduced them as his fool and his ghoul!
    So Happy Belated Birthday and all the trimmings be yours.

    Lucky you about the cover design, I do now know what I would do without my daughter being my IT person – these kiddos sometimes come in handy!
    Your family party looks wonderful and full of joy – maybe you need to celebrate with spa day after the party?
    Looking forward to your book and hope it has a great outcome – I am sure that I would love to read it as you write so well.
    I agree, we can’t do everything every time – life just is not that flat of a road, which of course makes the writing better and more interesting.
    Happy week – celebrate everyday.

    • Debbie

      I love the ghoul and the fool story Patricia! I and my middle sister, were always known as Pixie and Dixie by the local policeman who happened to be a family friend – our father was also a policeman. (the titles bore no relation to anything Halloween but to a couple of cartoon mice you probably recall.) I was pixie. My daughters took me for a Spa day for my birthday a few years ago – hilarious time had by all as I recall. As for the book, I will let you read it of course when it is published. This is assuming I manage to get it uploaded. 🙂

  • Teresa

    Belated Happy Birthday! The photos of the Halloween party are wonderful 🙂 Congratulations on the book. It sounds like a great read. Looking forward to hearing more about it!

    • Debbie

      Thank you Teresa. I am hoping to get the book properly formatted very soon, time allowing. The cover is coming along nicely so I want to do it justice! We are currently enjoying a quiet weekend in the Cotswolds. Only two hours from home so a lot nearer than the Scottish Castle of last year. 🙂

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