Finally finished the SFD!


The view from Debbie's window OK, so last week I spent a riot-free five days in picturesque Inverness, focusing purely on finishing my novel. And guess what – it worked!

With a magical mixture of peace and quiet, amazing views including this one from my window, good home made food – including Scottish fayre like haggis (:-0!) plus like-minded company, I finally reached 52000 words – and wrote the hallowed phrase 'The End'!

There will be revisions of course, but at least you can read it end to end now! It's gone out to a couple of my writing group friends for their comments, then by next week the final draft – for now – will be winging its way to the critique service run by the Romantic Novelists' Association. I'll keep you informed!

Gail, Liz and Debbie at the cottage The place – Moniakh Mohr – was remote – here's me and a couple of new writing friends, Gail and Liz, in front of the cottage.

There were 14 of us on the retreat, including two tutors – Marilyn and Ronald – who were there to give you feedback if you wanted it. Marilyn suggested a genius twist at the front of my book which gave me a real kick to continue and I ended up revamping, The group at the writing retreat revising and reviewing. Here she is front row left in this pic of the group.

One of the highlights was cooking the meal each night – in groups. I tried my hand at the potato dauphinoise recipe – it came out lovely! Will have to try that again!

Potato dauphinoise At the end of the week we also had a let down your hair night, with little performances by those that could, as well as readings of some of our work each evening.
Apart from meeting some lovely people, one of the best parts was sitting at my writing desk just gazing at the amazing scenery – it helped to calm me down specially at the start of the week when the riots were in the newspapers every day.

Nigel works near a shopping centre in Merton which took a hit, but he escaped major trouble. Hope it was all OK where you were. We went to airport via Loch Ness on way home – well how could we not, it was only three miles away! No sign of Nessie tho – funny that!! Lol.

This week it was back to a bombsite at home – Lauren moving out! Eek! So please excuse the shorter blog!

Finally to say – if you manage to get to see it, 'Rise of the Planet of the Apes' is well worth a viewing – Nigel and I were surprised at how well done it is – with a great plot and a fabulous performance from Andy Serkis as the main ape Caesar!


Have a great week!


  1. Louise August 20, 2011 at 7:13 am -  Reply

    Hi Debs
    Congrats on finishing the novel – bet you’re relieved. Now comes the real test I suppose. But you’ve worked hard, so it should all be okay. When it comes to animals, I can get really emorional, and any trailers I’ve seen of POTA new movie have made me feel sympathy for the monkeys. Do you not get that impression watching the full film? How are the monkeys perceived and how do they come across? I don’t want to watch it and get upset. I recall going to the cinema to watch the first POTA movie. Did you go and see it? If so, how did this one compare? Is it a more sensitive depiction?
    Well take care. Lots of love from my brood to yours. Speak again soon. Glad things with Nigel are still rockin’ and rollin’ – couldn’t resist the pun!

  2. Michelle Roberts August 21, 2011 at 7:53 pm -  Reply

    Hi Debs,
    So glad you enjoyed the retreat and well done on finishing the book, I am so looking forward to reading it one day, talking of books I really, really enjoyed the book by Julia Cohen, Getting away with it, what
    an excellent read, this was so up my street, thank you for your recommdation.
    On a different subject I wanted to add how much fun I had the other night watching your show Home Electronics, this is not my normal type of show, I have to confess in all the many years of watching this was the first time I watched all the way through and tonight Debs ( Sunday) really Loving the Acer computer, sorry tablet show, picking up loads of tips, I now know a lot more about apps, considering I could’t switch a computer on the start of the year, boy have I come on !!!!’!!
    Just wanted to add that I had some very sad news this week, my lovely yoga teacher very sadly took her own life I am beyond shocked I never honestly saw this coming, she leaves behind two very young boys,
    I hope you don’t mind me mentioning this on your blog I just wanted to put something down in writing to say you were my inspiration Beth I will miss you.
    On a lighter note the Potatoe Dauphinoise look yummy!!!

  3. debs f August 23, 2011 at 4:22 pm -  Reply

    Hi Louise – yes very relieved! tons of revisions to do now tho!
    listen, if you want to have empathy with the apes (not ‘monkey’s’ apparently hehe) – this is definitely the film to watch! humans bad, monkeys good – so go watch it and let me know what you think!
    ps yes they were rockin’ – I went with Nige to POTA – but we’re finding we’re drifting more into friendship and we’re definitely better off as friends! But am seeing him a couple of times over the next week, so we’ll still be in touch! Fun summer tho!
    :-)Onwards and upwards as they say!

  4. debs f August 23, 2011 at 4:24 pm -  Reply

    Michelle – so sorry to hear about your yoga teacher – love and light to you and to her and her family.
    So glad you’re enjoying the electronics – i do too! Always when Lee is on – he makes it so easy to understand!
    got a fabbie Blaupunkt TV/PVR coming soon too as a TSV = think it’s sept 1st!

  5. Susan August 24, 2011 at 5:58 pm -  Reply

    Hi Michelle,
    I am so very sorry and saddened to hear about your Yoga teacher. It is just so unbelievably and so awful when you hear these stories. And so much more common than we realise I think. I think it’s good of you to mention I must say as we all need to remember these things go on and it’s a reminder for us all to look out for each other in these hard times.
    Do take care,
    Susan x

  6. Susan August 24, 2011 at 6:00 pm -  Reply

    Hi Debs,
    I hope you don’t mind me saying a few words to Michelle. I’m sure you don’t. So tragic.
    On a lighter note I am really glad you have finished your book and I am glad you and Nigel are still really great friends. You’re a fabulous lady.
    Take care too,
    Susan x

  7. debs f August 25, 2011 at 1:46 am -  Reply

    Susan – of course I don’t mind hon – how kind you are.
    ps yes Nigel and I will be going to the cinema this weekend, and out to dinner midweek next week, so yes, still very much pals! Thanks for your kind comments!

  8. Michelle Roberts August 25, 2011 at 12:56 pm -  Reply

    Hi Susan,
    Thank you for your kind words,the yoga class met last night, it was so sad some of the people didn’t know due to holidays and various other things, we are going to continue as a group, Beth was such a warm and happy person we know she would have wanted this.
    I couldn’t agree more with you Susan we do need to look out for each other in these times, a good lesson for me.
    Thank you Debbie for allowing space on your blog for this, it has helped me make some sense of it all.
    Take care

  9. Susan August 25, 2011 at 5:17 pm -  Reply

    Well Debs you go and enjoy yourself this weekend, and I’m glad to be able to say a few words to you and Michelle.
    Take care x

  10. debs f August 29, 2011 at 6:33 pm -  Reply


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