And the winner is…


A game of 'drain the bottle' Busy week
With the sunnier days upon us, I've had a busy week – niece Ashley's 'first grandchild' baby shower, with all my family, which was fun – including 'baby bingo', 'drain the bottle' and 'eat the rusk' competitions!

Ashley can't wait for her little baby girl to arrive in a few weeks' time, and has been asking us for suggestions for names. I can't understand why she didn't like my idea of naming her after one of our ancestors – Fanny Flint!

Yes in around 1864 she married my great great granddad Henry Flint – at least that meant losing her maiden name of … Tidey!

Debbie and Lauren at the Abinger Tearooms More socialising the same weekend with a lovely afternoon tea in nearby Abinger Tearooms with my lovely daughter who was home for a few days. I had some funny comments about this pic – people saying the woman in the background needs a caption! Wonder what it'd be! lol.

It was lovely sitting there looking over the sunny village green. Then it was back to sort out the pogs again!

By hook or by crook or by five foot pen…
Been prompted to go out into the garden cos of the sunshine this week – how lovely and spring-like it is some days! I even sat outside with a book and a cuppa and the dogs at my feet one afternoon – albeit with my coat on! I guess it'll be time to do the first lawn-mowing of the year soon…

Debbie's pogs snuggle up At least this year the dogs will be unable to wreak havoc on my little allotment… their new outdoor habitat is going down a treat, and of course Daisy Dog can no longer escape – she's hung up her Houdini kit and is settling down to life in The Pen. As long as she doesn't learn how to climb the 5 foot fence, I'm ok! They still come inside at night though, or when I'm in and feel like some company. I thought this was a funny pic – it's a Daisy-chain! Lol.

Now they're taken care of finally, it's a lot off my mind. And it means I've got more head-space for my novel-writing – especially important as the York Festival's in two weeks' time ( I'm a bit nervous 'cos I've booked in for a couple of one-to-ones with agents this year, and it's always fascinating to see what they think.

I'm also thinking of putting up the first 500 words of 'The Playboy Billionaire's Hawaiian Affair' – (yes, really! Well it is for Mills and Boon ) – for the Friday Night 'Authonomy' competition. The best ten submissions are chosen, and you then read out your work in front of everybody else -  a scary after-dinner audience -who vote for the winner. Not sure mine's good enough to make the final ten tho', or whether I'd be too nervous to stand up and read it out! We'll see!

And the winner is…
As you may know, I use Twitter to follow a lot of published authors. The idea is that one day when I'm a grown up, their tweets and ongoing companionship during this solitary craft will have helped inspire me to be one of them!

Well this week, the furore was all about the Romantic Novelists Association 2011 Pure Passion awards. In our realm of the writing world, it's a pretty big deal so I went off straight away to download some of them onto my Kindle – including the overall winner of Romantic Novel of the Year award – Jo Jo Moyes 'The Last Letter from your Lover'. Can't wait to read it! Haven't read any of her stuff yet though so it'll be interesting.

Another winner was Elizabeth Chadwick (@ChadwickAuthor on Twitter) whose 'To Defy A King' won Best Historical Novel award. Now here's a thing – just look at how some of the current authors are embracing the whole social networking thing.

Not just Facebook and Twitter, but now YouTube! I was most fascinated by her innovative clip below – check it out – it's actually a trailer, like the kind you'd get for a TV show or film, but for a book! Clever!


I asked Elizabeth by email how it felt to win and if she had any advice for a new author. To my delight she rang me back and we had a fabulously inspiring chat. So much so I'm going to blog about it separately! Really interesting about men in chain mail and medieval re-enactment events! As well as tips on how to write a novel. Watch out for it soon.

Also worth a quick mention, my previous tutor Julie Cohen's new book just out – 'Getting Away With It' – about a stunt woman! It's even been spotted already in Sainsburys! She's a very funny writer and worth a read.

Record-breaking Facebook comments
Finally this week in true writer form I find myself very able to write a blog, or a Facebook or Twitter update, but strangely less able to finish my novel! One cause for distraction left me amazed at the responses – a record number of comments on one particular strand on Facebook last week – over 90 in fact! Shame we didn't reach the magic hundred! Lol. Anyway, guess what it was about? Favourite actors! Of course!

We accumulated a long, long list of 'definitely-would's! My faves are Colin Firth (of course, isn't everyone's?), John Cusack, Clive Owen and several others. Have to say I nearly forgot one of the best – Paul Rudd, (Phoebe's hubby from Friends, Role Models, Anchor Man etc.) but it was interesting seeing some of the 'guilty secret crushes' – the most unusual one mentioned was Keith Lemon! Ooer!

Another popular strand was when I said I was watching Shutter Island and it was brilliant but scary – it just shows you how film and TV spur people into sharing their opinions! As do the clips that get passed around between friends. BTW if you are awaiting a friend request I am a bit behind but will do some more this week – promise!

A funny from YouTube
So here's a little treat from me, for you. Interesting story about a little Labrador (of course!) who has a special swimming pal…

Dog swims with dolphin… Tory Island styleee

Bless! Fit dog eh?! Also for more of the same, there's a fascinating clip if you search 'dolphins and dogs' for an interaction through the wall of an aquarium. Cool!

Me? In distraction? Never!! Lol. Now back to the novel – seriously one day I'll get beyond chapter eight!!!

Best wishes
Till next week


PS – have spoken to Ali K and passed on your best wishes – she's beginning chemo this week but seems quite chipper. She's an amazing lady. Keep up to date with her via her blog, and do leave a message for her there.
PPS – stop press! If you're able to spend a night in Guildford this week, Paul Lavers – one of the original QVC presenters – is in an Agatha Christie spoof at the Yvonne Arnaud Theatre. He's there till Saturday night (12th) so go along if you can!
PPPS – competition to win a QVC Presenters 2011 Calendar coming soon!


  1. Jean March 12, 2011 at 8:04 am -  Reply

    Hi Debbie,
    You have been having a busy time, what with the baby shower and your writing. I dont think your suggestion for a name is quite the name most people would think suitable. Never mind you did try. Glad you had a nice time with your daughter, I expect it was nice to have her home for a few days.
    Love the video of the dog and dolphin, dont show Gracie what ever you do, she may want a pool in the garden with a couple of dolphins. The picture of your dogs lying altogether is lovely. That is what you call cupboard love.
    Hope the pen keeps Houdini at bay. As you say as they get older they MAY settle down, not always the case, I can tell you that from experience.
    Anyway Debbie keep up the good work with your writing.
    I am glad Alison Keenan is okay, and that everything goes on okay for her. She always came over on the TV as a kind loving sort of person.
    Take care. Love Jean. XX

  2. Louise March 12, 2011 at 8:52 pm -  Reply

    Hi Debs
    Can I just compliment you on your appearance? You look as if you are still losing weight and look good for it.
    Have you been watching Crufts? Max the boxer won the working dogs category. Oscar has the perfect stance and build to win Crufts, and I’m not biased, honest!, but I think if a dog is a show dog, it can’t truly be a pet. One has to watch everything one does, etc. Having said that, I keep them adhered to a very strict diet and health regime, so maybe it wouldn’t be that different if they had been show dogs. But Osc is eight now and, even though Cas is only four, since the accident leaving him with three legs, he can be a bit nervous. A friend of mine, who the dogs haven’t met before, came round the other day; Oscar wanted petted immediately and Cas started barking at her, as is his way with strangers. Another couple of meetings and he’ll be fine. How are your brood? Still challenging, if they are anything like mine! We wouldn’t be without them, though, would we? A lot less bother than a guy! Unconditional love means a lot to us dog lovers. Just sitting here writing this, my two are resting – peace!
    Enjoyed the designer bedroom hour you have just presented, especially the Kirstie Allsopp items. What are they like in comparison to the Northern Nights cotton sets? We aren’t given a thread count to compare. I do like my NN. Also, the Kelly Hoppen throws are so luxurious.
    Take care, Debs, and speak soon.

  3. Nigel March 13, 2011 at 3:41 pm -  Reply

    Debs, You nervous – never !!!
    As for the pic, perhaps her name is Thorn ?
    Take care, Nige

  4. Michelle Roberts March 13, 2011 at 3:59 pm -  Reply

    Hi Debbie, Well i said i would report back on the vax machine well i’m totally vaxed out(if that is the correct term)my house is like a new pin everything looks lovely and clean and smells nice too. How long this will last with 4 Yorkshire terriers in it i don’t know. I did find the machine easy to use, not to heavy to push but i managed to get husband to give me a hand towards the end who now claims he did all the cleaning. The vax is now going to Cardiff for my sister to use.
    Well i must be a odd person because i like the name Fanny Flint!!
    Good luck in the York Festival.
    Bye for now
    Michelle N Wales

  5. tracy ecob March 14, 2011 at 7:57 pm -  Reply

    hi debs,
    how exciting for you waiting for the birth of your niece,s baby i remember waiting for my beautiful grand daughter to be born (4 years ago now – where does it go eh? – now also have number two!)
    anyway in my opinion you couldn’t pick a better name than PAIGE (said first grand daughter’s name) GEORGEOUS in every way.

  6. David Morris March 15, 2011 at 1:45 pm -  Reply

    Hello Debbie,
    Haven’t commented on your blogs before, but saw you last night with Harold Glockner (pampoos) and thought you looked very sassy & sexy in that frill dress & killer heels with sheer (seamed?) hosiery. Also like the hair colour but prefer it down & loose (just my opinion, you wear it how you like). Hope you get on well with the novel, although guess you won’t be on the orange prize long list this year!!
    Take care
    David xx

  7. Susanne Fitzpatrick March 16, 2011 at 1:24 pm -  Reply

    Just seen this article by Dr Maya Angelou which might prove interesting for you, as it’s all about writing techniques – and let’s face it, if you’ve ever read any of her books, she’s one of the best. Hope it inspires you.

  8. catriona brown March 17, 2011 at 5:37 pm -  Reply

    Hi Debbie im so glad your back at qvc you were missed , your laugh is infectious. My daughter Adele gave birth to my gorgous grandaughter in october and her name is Ayla it means halo of light , its got aribic and galeic oragins i hope this helps with baby names.
    Lots of love Cat

  9. debs flint March 17, 2011 at 6:46 pm -  Reply

    Hello Jean my lovely.
    The Pen does indeed keep Hound-Daisy at bay, but the bush/fence down the fourth side doesn’t! Till today – she pushed a way thru – again! Thank god for Kevin down the lane – lol. Had to do another hour of ‘wire-meshing’ but it’s now bullet proof. Well lab-proof!
    Had a great time writing!

  10. debs flint March 17, 2011 at 6:49 pm -  Reply

    HI again Louise – nice to hear from you again.
    No never been to crufts – used to be too allergic to risk it! but think am better now after a course of homeopathy last year helped reduce my cast/pet hair allergies vastly (hence having mine in the kitchen nowadays!)
    Northern Nights is the high end thread count, more silk-like. Kirsty’s range is very pretty and more vintage. (I think Gemma the guest said it was about 200tc). I just got the ‘love’ cushions arrive – they’re …er…’love’ly!!
    And yes – unconditional love from doggies – lot more reliable than some men! hehe!

  11. debs flint March 17, 2011 at 6:51 pm -  Reply

    Nige/ Tracey/ David – Thanks! and some fun suggestions! Only a few weeks and I’ll report back on what Ashley chose for her first baby girl!
    Tracey – Paige sounds so lovely!

  12. debs flint March 17, 2011 at 6:52 pm -  Reply

    Michelle – haha – vaxed out – love it!
    Glad it helped!
    Great idea to pass it on to family and friends!

  13. debs flint March 17, 2011 at 6:55 pm -  Reply

    Susanne – no i haven’t read any yet but will read that article – there’s a lot about Dr Maya on Oprah’s site eh! Sounds good stuff!
    Thanks so much.
    My guru is Robert McKee – more about script-writing but loved his courses!

  14. debs flint March 17, 2011 at 6:56 pm -  Reply

    Cat – thanks hon!a sounds a lovely name – hope she lives up to it! Glad for you – sounds wonderful experience to be grandmother!
    I know it’ll come to me eventually but Brad, Lauren, if you’re reading this, no rush to make mummy a grandmother just yet! hehe

  15. Susan March 18, 2011 at 6:15 pm -  Reply

    Hi Debs,
    Lol I did laugh at the Fanny Flint!! And her maiden name…well that got me!!! I love the name Paige – always have. Ayla is lovely too. I wonder if it’s said the same as Isla? I love that too. Your stories are just the funniest…just like the other Debs and Ali! You’re a scream. Hope all’s well? You do look wonderful by the way. Hair and skin gorgeous and outfits so elegant too. Looking fab!
    Susan x

  16. debs flint March 21, 2011 at 12:26 pm -  Reply

    Susan – how kind of you – thanks so much! Glad you enjoy the blogs! I try my best to keep it fun! Too much else going on in the world eh! Yes I’m very happy back at QVC – it’s easy to brush up well with such good products, mind you, as I say to the guests who say kind comments, ‘you should have seen me when I came in an hour ago’! lol

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