Show Don’t Tell

Tell Show her that you love her.

~~~

How many friends do you have? Three or four? Ten or twenty? Or do you have hundreds and thousands of friends?

The answers may well depend a lot on how active you are on Social Media. Let’s face it, to call someone your friend has different connotations nowadays. When I was a girl, your friends were the ones you hung about with in the playground. You knew what they looked like, you knew who their mammy was, you knew what they had for their dinner.

Nowadays, many of your friends are the ones you hang about with on the internet, you don’t always know what they look like, it’s unlikely you know their mammy, but yes, you may well know what they had for their dinner.

~~~

Now, if you want to be an author’s friend … if you want to show her you care … rather than just tell her, why don’t you do something for her?

Yes, a bunch of flowers is always nice, a box of chocolates, sweet.

Even better … yes, better than chocolate …

Buy her books.

Read her Books.

Review her books.

~~~

Give them as gifts.

Tell others about them.

Order them in your local library.

Attend the launch party for each new book.

~~~

Host a book party.

Host a launch party.

Tell others about her books.

Spread the word about her books on social media:

Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, email, text.

~~~

Show an author you care.

~~~

http://www.amazon.com/Christine-Campbell/e/B00BRGC0C2

#RRBC #CR4U

Christine Campbell Fascinating I Am

Usually, I try not to make WriteWhereYouAre all about me, by reblogging interesting articles from others’ blogs, or writing about things other than my books. Occasionally I share one of my poems or a poem or short story someone else has written. All in an attempt to interest and entertain you.

As part of the promotion of my new novel, Searching for Summer, I have the privilege of writing some guest posts for other bloggers, being interviewed by some others, and having my book reviewed by yet others, so please bear with me over the next few weeks as I share these various posts here on my own blog.

I shall try to intersperse these promotional posts with posts about other things and other people, but I am kinda hoping you’ll forgive me for being a wee bittie excited about my new book and wanting to talk about it more than a wee bittie!

Author and blogger, Anna Stenhouse, invited me to write a piece for her blog, Novels Now. Her theme for guest pieces is ‘Fascinating I am,’ and she invited me to share five fascinating facts about myself. Well, I wrinkled my brow, scratched my head, and hummed and hawed, and came up with five facts about myself. Whether they fascinate is another matter, which I shall leave up to your judgement. I hope you at least find them interesting.

Novels Now

Christine Campbell Christine Campbell

Christine Campbell, novelist, Women’s Contemporary fiction is the first Fascinating I Am subject of 2015. welcome to Novels Now, Christine.

First of all, I have to say, “What a heading to live up to!” I doubt if ‘fascinating’ is an adjective often used of me — but I like it!

Fascinating Fact One:

I don’t have a favourite colour, book, song, child or grandchild.

Just as I love different colours for different reasons because they are all different, so it is with books, songs, my children, and my grandchildren. I think it is amazing how love stretches and deepens. When stretched, it doesn’t get thinner so it can go further. It just grows and makes it possible to love more.

Fascinating Fact Two:

When I was approaching forty, I decided I’d like to trace my birth father. The only thing I knew about him was his name…

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#3 — Food in Fiction

In Part One, we gave some thought to some scenes in novels we’ve read where food played an important role, and we talked a little about how their attitude to food can reveal things about your character’s character.

In Part Two, we looked at a couple of examples of that, and also talked about how important food is in our lives and, by extension, the lives of our characters.

In Part Three, I thought it would be interesting to think about food as a central character. For instance, in Chocolat by Joanne Harris, chocolate plays the most important role. Without it, there would be no story.

When an exotic stranger, Vianne Rocher, arrives in the French village of Lansquenet and opens a chocolate boutique directly opposite the church, Father Reynaud denounces her as a serious moral danger to his flock – especially as it is the beginning of Lent, the traditional season of self-denial. As passions flare and the conflict escalates, the whole community takes sides. Can the solemnity of the Church compare with the sinful pleasure of a chocolate truffle?

What I love best about the story is that Vianne finds the chocolate that matches the person’s personality best, demonstrating that, just as the foods we have our characters choose can tell a lot about them, so the character’s personality and the role they play can determine the food we might choose to have them eat in our story. I mean, would you really have your romantic hero eat tripe and onions? Or give his lady-love a box of frozen peas bound with a ribbon?

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The chocolates in this photo are my husband’s chocolate gingers. Anyone tell me what kind of personality Vianne would match those to? Then I’ll tell you if its a good match.

Writer Teagan Kearney, http://writingmynovelnoworkingtitleyet.blogspot.co.uk says, “I think my all time favourite novel featuring food was ‘Chocolat’ by Joanne Harris, especially the passages describing the preparation – as a chocolate lover they had me drooling!”

As one Amazon review puts it, “Chocolat is an utterly delicious novel, coated in the gentlest of magics, which proves–indisputably and without preaching–that soft centres are best.” –Lisa Gee

~~~

Similarly, in The Sweetness of Forgetting, by Kristen Harmel, there would be no story without the delicious sweets and pastries, inspired by Rose’s youth in Paris, and passed on to her daughter and granddaughter, and, again, the main character, Hope, matches pastries to people, offering them those she thinks will please them.

This is a tale of baking, love, hope and faith across generations.

The North Star Bakery has been in Hope’s family for generations, the secret recipes passed down from mother to daughter. When the bakery runs into financial trouble and Rose takes a turn for the worse, Hope’s delicate balancing act is in danger of crumbling entirely.

Then Rose reveals a shocking truth about her past and everything Hope thought she knew about her family and the bakery is turned upside down. At her grandmother’s request, Hope travels to Paris, armed only with a mysterious list of names. What she uncovers there could be the key to saving the bakery and the fulfilment of a star-crossed romance, seventy years in the making.

The Sweetness of Forgetting now comes with added book club discussion topics and inspirational food ideas created by the author.

Now, this is a book I can heartily recommend to you. I read it a while ago and can actually still remember much about it, because I thoroughly enjoyed it and the recipes are delicious.

~~~

And, now, as a special treat for you, here is a short story written by my good friend Sharon Scordecchia, in response to my request in Part One of this series for observations on the part food plays in the books we have read.

The book she remembers is Tess of the D’Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy, and the part played by luscious, red strawberries, ripe for the picking.

image
~~~

Dear Tess,
I read your story years ago, when I was seventeen. I hated that Alec d’Urberville. I hated you being in the greenhouse with him. I was fearful when he insisted on feeding you those strawberries. I wanted to shout out to you, “Don’t eat it, Tess! Don’t let him put it to your mouth.”
I read your story for my English lesson. Mr S was our teacher, S for Strawberry or Seduction or Sleaze? S for Squirm. Mr S sat, his never-ending legs stretched out before him, crossed at the ankles, talking about your ‘luscious lips’, hissing the ‘s’ of each word, the sounds snaking their way around the classroom. He licked his huge lips making them shiny and wet and he laughed, his large straight teeth exposed in a leer as he held your story aloft in his great hands, while he educated us. We sat in a semi-circle around him, behind our desks, not knowing where to look. When it got too much, all his talk of strawberries being forced to luscious lips, I stabbed my pen into the grain of my desk, gouging inky disgust into the wood, defacing Alec and Mr S.
My class had a weapon though, Tess, something we used frequently to combat all that talk of strawberries and luscious lips. Each lesson, before Mr S arrived we would nominate the class’ best actress to sit in Mr S’ seat. She became Mr S. She licked her lips and leered at us and lolled back in Mr S’ chair stretching herself across the floor, holding the invisible piece of fruit, “luscious lips” slithering from her mimicry.
We sat behind our desks, our heads thrown back in bursts of raucous laughter, holding onto our sides, laughing till we cried.
If only you’d resisted the fruit, Tess. The outcome may have been different, better. But then, I was only seventeen, what did I know? I was still learning that truth is stranger than fiction.

Sharon Scordecchia

~~~

Please, do keep them coming, observations, reviews, poems, short stories, whatever — all about Food in Fiction. Your prize? I may well share it here on my blog in #FoodinFiction

~~~

‘Give us an A! Give us a d! Give us another d! Give us…Give us…Give us!’

And what have we got?

Addiction!

One definition of ‘addiction’ is ‘a compulsive physiological and psychological need for a habit-forming substance.’ In other words, your body and your mind crave that substance.

Sometimes a substance is generally, or even medically, recognised to be habit-forming, creating dependence on it. Other substances may not be intrinsically addictive, but turn out to be so for some people.

Chocolate seems to fall into that category.

chocolate

Modern marketing and advertising encourage this addiction, and, mostly, it’s not too damaging: an ounce or two extra on the hips or the waistline seems a small price to pay for the sheer, unadulterated pleasure of allowing a square of chocolate to melt slowly, succulently, deliciously in your mouth.

The chocolate addiction only becomes a real problem when you have a tendency to hypoglycaemia or diabetes, when you’re on a weight-loss diet or when you haven’t got any and the shops are shut.

A second definition of ‘addiction’ is ‘the condition of being habitually or compulsively occupied with or involved in something’ and this definition brings another of life’s pleasures to mind: shopping.

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FreeDigitalPhotos.net

I don’t think I’m actually addicted to shopping, but I do believe I could easily become addicted, given the chance. Living in the country, miles from any shops, is a help or a hindrance, depending on your point of view. I think it’s a help, but, if someone wants to throw a few bob my way, I’m willing to test the theory.

What is decidedly not helpful is the advent of internet shopping. A while back, when I was driving North with He Who Prefers Not To Be Named (see post of 5th April 2013), I noticed an enormous, huge, ginormous Amazon warehouse had been built within ten miles of our home, ‘Just for us,’ we agreed. We are both seriously addicted to buying books on Amazon. It is just too easy. However, I have curbed my need for the services of the said warehouse: most of my Amazon purchases now are eBooks.

Research shows that many people buy things they don’t need, some buy things they don’t even want and most of these folks are a bit concerned about their shopping habits, some admitting they are ‘addicted’ to shopping.

In the ‘developed world’, merchandisers play to this addiction. Millions of Pounds, Dollars, Euros and Yen are spent every year on advertising. They wouldn’t do it if it didn’t work.

Advertisers play on our emotions, telling us we deserve more and better than we have, assuring us that our life will be enhanced if we buy their products. It rarely turns out to be that way. In the words of an exceptionally wise man: ‘Even when a person has an abundance his life does not result from the things he possesses.’ (Luke 12:15) and another wise man: ‘A mere lover of silver will not be satisfied with silver.’ (Ecclesiastes 5:10)

As an observer of life and people, as most writers are, I have concluded these wise words are true.

Several things inspired me to write my second novel, ‘Making It Home’. Observing shoppers was one. The discovery of a deceased relative’s secret addiction to shopping was another. Who knew she was filling her home with purchases she had no use for, filling cupboards and rooms with unopened carrier bags, receipts dating years back still inside them with the items she’d bought: the overwhelming sadness of her loneliness clearly unabated by hundreds of shopping trips? Who knew? Childless and widowed years before, she lived far from extended family and had few friends, mostly by choice, being a very private person. Reluctant to visit or be visited, her secret was only discovered when her home had to be cleared for sale after her funeral.

My overwhelming sadness I used to tell a little of her story in my novel, allowing a fictional character to carry her secret and share her loneliness. I like to think she might have enjoyed the alternative ending.

Making It Home

THE book cover

Kate had a home, but her heart wasn’t in it…or in her marriage.

So she left them both.

Phillis had a home…and her heart was in it…but she wanted something more.

So she shopped.

Naomi had no home and her heart was in cold storage, frozen by grief and fear.

So she shopped.

They found one another in a department store.

Shopping.

The problem with ‘retail therapy’: you can overdose.

As friendship grows between these three women, they help one another face up to their problems, realising along the way, that every heart needs a home and it takes more than a house to make one.

A contemporary novel about women who want more.

 Amazon links.

paperback: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Making-Home-Christine-Campbell/dp/1849237743/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1364061887&sr=1-1

ebook: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Making-It-Home-ebook/dp/B00BR9YS0G/ref=sr_1_1_bnp_1_kin?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1364061887&sr=1-1

Life Through Blue Tinted Glasses… Hayley’s Essay

 

Life Through Blue Tinted Glasses

By

Hayley Campbell

 

    Everyone has certain aspects of themselves which can mould and change who they turn into as a person. Some are generous, some are kind hearted, some are hospitable, and some are intellectual. Me? I’m dyslexic. I don’t hate myself for it, to be honest it can be quite funny at times, considering when typing this essay for the first time I spelt both intellectual and dyslexic wrong! However it can also be very frustrating. Dyslexia is much more than having difficulty reading or spelling but there are still, even in this more accepting society, some people who view me as just stupid.

    I remember the long, drawn out process of being diagnosed. It shouldn’t have been like it was; my test scores managed to get lost twice… twice! So I sat through that horrible test a total of three times. I was diagnosed in second year and it was a daunting yet strangely exciting prospect. All through primary school I managed to get myself into the top sets for maths, French and language but was in the bottom set for spelling and was also in a lower reading group. I was confused and didn’t understand how there could be such a drop in ability level but just accepted it. It’s a mystery why this was never looked into; maybe my teachers just thought spelling wasn’t my strong point, I really don’t know. I think that is why I was excited: I was finally going to have an explanation.

    It was a classically grey, drizzly day in November, I was in Mr Rodgers’ science class (science, now there’s a word I don’t understand! Where is that ‘c’ coming from? That is like putting a ‘z’ in the word English, what is the point?) and there was a quick knock at the door as one of the learning support staff, Mrs Flynn entered. I looked up quickly from my work and tried to lip read what she said quietly to Mr Rodgers. Then sure enough,

“Hayley, can I speak to you outside please?”

I don’t think I even answered, I just stood up and walked briskly to the door trying to avoid the twenty five pairs of eyes I could feel piercing through my head. Once I was out there I took a deep breath and relaxed as she told me that yes, I was dyslexic. It was one of the strangest feelings as I slowly walked back into the classroom contemplating what this actually meant: I wasn’t stupid!

    Now, however was the obstacle of how everyone else viewed the diagnosis. There can be prejudices involved with dyslexia. To me being dyslexic shows that I am not stupid and that it is an actual brain problem, but to others who don’t have an understanding of the condition, being dyslexic is just another way of saying unintelligent. This can be hurtful and in some cases humiliating. Not everyone does this intentionally, though. Even some teachers after finding out I was dyslexic treated me like I was a bit simple. I recall a time when I was standing in maths ready to go literally five steps out of the door into the learning support base and I was asked by the teacher if I needed directions or someone to accompany me. Seriously, how dense must they have thought I was?

    Dyslexia involves a lot more than people first think. There is more to the condition than being a slow, inaccurate reader and a poor speller. Brain scans of dyslexia suffers have shown that to read a normal passage of text in my own language takes the same brain power and concentration as a foreign person trying to read English. This shows just how much more time and effort it takes to work out what exactly something is saying and what a passage as a whole means – sa terrible n’est-ce pas?

    Thankfully, there is now something that can help some dyslexics with reading. I am one of those lucky few who benefit from this technique. As I sit here typing out this essay in my blue tinted glasses (I may not be stupid but I certainly look it with these John Lennon specs on!) the difference and ease of reading is unbelievable. The opticians can now do a test for dyslexics and sometimes a coloured sheet over the top of writing or tinted glasses can make a massive difference and in my case with a blue tint my reading improves by thirty percent. This lifted a massive weight off of my shoulders and for the first time in my life I am looking forward to reading a book cover to cover and enjoying it instead of it turning into a chore.

    Another thing most people, including myself until recently, don’t know is that dyslexia affects the short term memory. This is another frustrating aspect as, along with always losing things and having very bad organisational skills, it also impacts on reading. Putting large amounts of effort into reading a passage and trying to understand it ends up going completely down the drain by the time I finish the passage because I can’t remember what I have just read and find it very difficult to work out the gist of an article or passage. Having a short term memory issue also makes studying and revising very challenging. An example of this is if a non-dyslexic person and I were both given a short passage to memorise it would take the non sufferer around fifteen minutes and me, or another dyslexic around two or three hours. That type of problem can also have a large bearing on career choices.

    There are some jobs that just do not suit a dyslexic to be able to do. As with any rule however, there are some exceptions for example Kara Tointon and Tom Cruise are both dyslexic but manage to learn and commit to their lines with every acting job they do. The majority of university courses ask that you have higher English at a certain level. Having that requirement can be very daunting for dyslexia sufferers, myself included, as it can determine which course you do, if any. I am quite lucky however as I have been placed in good sets for English and have had very good, helpful teachers and other staff supporting me. I hope to achieve a place at university and study to be a PE teacher. This will take a lot of determination and hard work, both of which I am willing to do. If that doesn’t work out, I could always be a professional chocolate taster – I’m pretty sure I don’t need four years at university for that!

    Like I said, I don’t hate myself for being dyslexic it can just be frustrating and can feel like a setback. Even though I get angry with myself for writing stupid things or not being able to spell what might seem like a simple word, I do think that being dyslexic has certainly changed me as a person. If I was just like any normal person I doubt I would push myself as hard as I do, I feel like I am definitely stronger and more determined. However I am also aware that I have to be realistic, I’m not going to be an English teacher; I think the school would get some complaints when I’m spelling things incorrectly to be copied down. I’m also probably not going to be an author or win an award for achieving the highest mark in all of Scotland for the English exam, but I can live with that. I am happy just to play to my strengths, and if all else fails there’s always Dairy Milk.

 

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