Autumn, Julie Cohen’s writing workshop and LA


An autumn walk with the pogsThis week…
Those autumn leaves… what's your favourite bit about autumn?
Rules for writing a good synopsis from Julie Cohen's workshop
BCC event – and goodie bag giveaway reminder
And another fab QVC blooper!

Loving autumn
I must say we're now entering one of my favourite times of year – especially when the sun's bright and the air is crisp. Let's hope for some more days like I had recently when I took the dogs – well, two of them anyway! – for a lovely afternoon walk in the sunshine.

Holly's still recovering from her op (all good) and it was a bit too far for little Gracie with her bad hips! We didn't really have much of a summer, did we? Hence many of us escaping abroad for our dose of warmth before the winter onslaught, including yours truly!

Autumnal treesWell, I don't suppose for one minute we'll get another late heat-wave like we had last year! But it always makes me smile to see the setting sun and the wonderful colours that autumn brings – plus it actually means we're not too far away from the joys of Christmas.

I always find October goes by OK, then November whizzes and suddenly the festive season is upon me, with cards still unwritten (no, Deborah, sometimes an email, wall post or Tweet will NOT suffice!), presents still un-bought and get-togethers still unplanned. Maybe I should take some hints from the blog team.

We were all asked this week by the blog team for our thoughts about Christmas – favourite memory, gift, wish-list etc. They certainly plan ahead! But still, this year is going so fast! So to make the most of it, before we get too wrapped up in all the talk about the festive season, help me out by dwelling on autumn.

Leave me a comment below and tell me what's your favourite part of THIS time of year – is it to do with the garden? What you're harvesting? The temperature? Anything to do with the kids? What you usually do this time of year? It's easy to leave a comment if you've never done before – just fill in the form below and press 'post', (your email stays private). Go on, go on, go on, do it! 🙂

La-La Land calling!
Studio City Courtyard HotelSo if you're a Facebook friend, or follow me on Twitter (@debbieflint), you'll know by now that the campervan hol was abandoned (rain stopped play) in favour of a last minute trip to Hollywood! Back in LA for another short stint, feeling right at home in the little hotel we found. More news in next week's blog.

Meanwhile, I'm writing, I'm writing… that's the plan, anyway. One day that book will get finished! Actually it's nearer than you might think! Partly due to getting all inspired once again by spending time with a proper author!

Julie Cohen's rules for a good synopsis
Julie Cohen's writing workshopYes, last weekend it was time for another novel-writing refresher and a day in Reading at Julie Cohen's writing course. I LOVE these workshops!

It was great fun as usual, and nice to meet some new writing buddies. If you're attempting a novel, like I am, one of the best things to do is get a mentor and Julie's certainly been mine. If you've read my blogs for a while you'll know her books are amongst my faves and I do love her writing style.

They say it's good to read some 'how to' books, go on a course or two (or ten, in my case! Lol) and it helps you get to grips with what's the best way to write a novel and get published. In fact, last week's blog with one of my other favourite authors, Pam Hartshorne, mentioned several helpful books to get you on your way (go here to read about them and enter the comp to win her signed book and a goody bag – also see below).

One of the things Julie's course at the weekend highlighted, was her outline for a good synopsis. Get it down to eight basic paragraphs, and you're sorted! If you're a writer, got any other rules to contribute? Go here to Julie's blog to find out more!

BCC Night – fab!
Believe it or not, I even caught a little of Wednesday's fabulous Breast Cancer Care event live on my little iPhone app whilst having a morning coffee in a Studio City coffee shop in LA! Did you enjoy QVC's BCC night? What was your favourite part of the night? Don't forget to enter my competition to win the fab little goodie bag I got when I went to the BCC luncheon. Will Gowing saw my excitement when we were in the crew room, going through it, and shot a little clip of me showing you what's in it! Watch this to see if you're tempted! Lol.


Then don't forget to go here to leave a comment at the bottom in order to enter – it closes on the 24th October.

Nick and Lolly Also last weekend, my lovely daughter was home, and the sun came out specially for our nice lunch in Dorking, in the 'Burgundy and Black' café round the back of Marks and Spencers. It was actually dropping Lauren and Nick off at the airport for their week in the sun that got me yearning for distant climes!

50 Sheds of Grey newspaper article Fifty SHEDS of Grey! haha! Click on photo on the left to expand it, and read some of the funnies. Just had to share this with you since, as you can imagine, lots of mentions of the bestseller '50 Shades' cropped up during our writing workshop! Well, this article in the paper recently was for the guy's version – '50 'SHEDS' of Grey' by Colin Grey. Lol. Here's one snippet:

"I'm a very naughty girl," she said, biting her lip, "I need to be punished. So I invited my mum to stay for the weekend!"

Hahah! That and lots more funnies including about sheds – a great pressie for the guys this Christmas! Lol.

A young Debbie on a carousel Deb loves Donny! Thought I'd show you another little pic I found in the archives when scanning through some family photo albums recently  – how funny! Get the Donny Osmond hat! Lol. Were you a Donny girl back in the day? Or a David Cassidy diva? 🙂

Blooper time – knowing how much you guys love your weekly bloopers, here's a recent one of our lovely Andrew from Gatineau, who needs a little time with Carol Vorderman it seems! Catch him again soon on 29th/30th October with some specials. And don't forget, you can always find your favourite shows easily now, with our new 'search' facility on the TV guide on the homepage!


WATCH – got a lovely little video for you this week which I filmed on my way to work – ever been this close to deer crossing? How cuuuute! I'm lucky enough to be able to detour through Richmond Park, where the deer are abundant and think nothing of crossing the road and stopping the traffic!


Now the nights are closing in, and considering I only do later shifts, this detour will be less frequent since the gates to the park close at sunset. So I'm making the most of it whilst I can!

Anita Moorjani sayingWATCH/LISTEN – on Facebook this week – loved this saying from Anita Moorjani. She's the fascinating lady who had a NDE – near death experience, but came back from a near fatal illness and recovered fully.

I've just finished listening to her audiobook, describing what she saw and what happened – sooo intriguing, and food for thought for sure. Especially comforting if you've lost a loved one too and you're open to all that stuff – highly recommended.

Here's a lovely little video explaining more, and if you're interested, here's her CD set. It's also a book.


QVC – I am of course in LA for a week, so not on air, but there's tons going on, on QVC – including a new Liz Earle Today's Special Value on Friday night/all day Saturday, and Honora on Tuesday 23rd.

John Barrowman on air with DebbieAnd some of the best will be this weekend, getting us in the Christmas spirit as the Saturday Night Gifts show returns from now till mid-December. This week (Saturday 20th at 8pm) Dale is hosting, and – yes you've guessed it – John Barrowman is back! Maybe we can persuade him to make it a permanent fixture!

I very much enjoyed my last Gifts show when he was also on, with his skincare range HIM (201045 is on Waitlist, for instance). Had such fun. It's not every day you get asked to 'feel my face' by JB!

Anyway that's it for now – have to get back to the pool (sorry!) – but do please leave me a comment below. For instance, tell me how prepared you are already for Christmas? I'll reply to each one of you – after all, don't forget what happens to me when I'm supposed to be writing my novels – I get all caught up in distraction! So I'll no doubt be answering them from LA!

And do come back here next week for the full LA round up – including to find out about one of my favourite restaurants in Beverley Hills and who I spotted at the airport!

Best wishes,


  1. Susan October 19, 2012 at 5:37 pm -  Reply

    Hi Debs,
    Glad you’re having such a lovely time! I’m sooo jealous though! You’re so lucky to get away a few times a year!! I see it was was it? I asked on the last blog but you didn’t see me…but I see you left a comment on twitter as it was on the bit beside your blog! Good to know! Thanks. I do like autumn winter yes but not as nice that we have to use so much oil…not good for the bills!
    Look forward to hearing about LA. I’ll dream about it tonight!
    Susan xx

  2. Nigel October 20, 2012 at 2:18 am -  Reply

    D – Fave part is gathering leaves to make leafmould (boring but true) which IMHO is worth its weight in gold as it can’t be bought yet is invaluable in the garden.
    Maybe 50 Shades of Green(house) is the sequel along with 50 Sheds of Going Grey if a trilogy !!
    Luv the blog, Nige:))

  3. Sue Archer October 20, 2012 at 4:06 pm -  Reply

    Hi Debbie,
    I was a Donny girl and used to love the Osmonds.
    Am going out for dinner this Christmas with some friends so will be getting pressies.
    Have a nice time in LA.
    Sue Archer

  4. jennifer cann October 21, 2012 at 1:59 pm -  Reply

    hi deb love watching you on qvc loved it saturday when jb turnded you off it was so funny when he said ive pushed the off switch

  5. Jason Hicks October 25, 2012 at 2:34 am -  Reply

    I enjoy reading these blogs!

  6. debs f October 25, 2012 at 5:16 am -  Reply

    Susan – it was very definitely last minute for sure!
    I’m on oil heating too – soooo expensive! Thank goodness for woodburning stoves to make a change!
    New blog just been submitted – enjoy! and thanks as ever for commenting!

  7. debs f October 25, 2012 at 5:19 am -  Reply

    Sue – how was dinner? That’s an early one isn’t it!?
    Yes I was a true Donny girl – loved him and Marie in Las Vegas couple of years ago too – such professional showmanship.
    Thanks so much for commenting!
    big hugs

  8. debs f October 25, 2012 at 5:20 am -  Reply

    Jennifer – I hoped he’d have turned it into a funny! Three hours I spent preparing for that little skype call! lol! Maybe I’ll be able to film a clip of it as a blooper for next week’s blog!
    Thanks for watching and commenting – nice to know you’re there hon!

  9. Gill October 25, 2012 at 6:10 am -  Reply

    Great to see the ‘Richmond Park’ deer Debs. I used to live so close to Richmond Park that it was my regular walk for my dogs. Now, sadly, live too far away to be a frequent visitor.

  10. john collins October 25, 2012 at 7:15 am -  Reply

    hi how do i try and win your goody bag for my wife please.

  11. laura October 25, 2012 at 7:26 am -  Reply

    hi Debbie, good luck with the book I cant wait to read it. 🙂 /loving that Xmas lights TSV today really getting me in the mood for the big day 🙂 Love Lauraxx

  12. Carole Adcock October 25, 2012 at 7:55 am -  Reply

    Hello debs, great bog as always. Hollywood soundsl ovely so next weeks should make interesting reading. As for you giving the gift bag (it looks lovely….don’t know how you could! ), it reminds me that you were going a send a little something to the person who came up with the best name for a group qvc presenters in your January blog i think. You said you liked my suggestion best……a gossip of presenters, but nothing ever happened as result. Did you pick another one in the end? Lol……anyway, great blog. Carole x

  13. Michelle Roberts October 25, 2012 at 4:46 pm -  Reply

    Hi Debs, Finally I think this comment might work. forgot what I wanted to say now Lol
    My favourite part of Autumn is knowing my summer holiday is around the corner, after a busy season in the cattery while everyone else was on holiday it’s now my turn and I adore the lovely colours of Autumn of course and this one is definitely the best my nice warm towel rail is back on in the bathroom something so cosy about warm towels don’t you think !!!
    Hope Holly is recovering well. looking forward to reading about your holiday in fabulous LA.
    Big hug to you
    Michelle x

  14. debs f October 31, 2012 at 4:11 am -  Reply

    Gill- brought back memories for you too eh! I must admit I’ll be sorry to see the gates locked at dusk now the clock’s’ve gone back. Boo! My kids love the park too, as they were taken there a lot as kids!

  15. debs f October 31, 2012 at 4:12 am -  Reply

    John- as the article said, you just leave a comment, so yes you were entered.

  16. debs f October 31, 2012 at 4:13 am -  Reply

    Laura – do you buy romance books then? do you read ebooks? let me know, in case you can be a beta tester for my final draft! lol

  17. debs f October 31, 2012 at 4:14 am -  Reply

    Carole – yes I do remember, but thanks for the jog! Do leave another comment explaining and state your address and we’ll get a little freebie in the post for you!
    Well done – it was very funny your suggestion!

  18. debs f October 31, 2012 at 4:16 am -  Reply

    michelle – ooo i know exactly what you mean! I love being warmed up -= hence car with heated seats and elec blanket on bed! hehe!
    luv to you and the cats and the hubby!

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