Why Forgiveness Is So Important For Writers #MondayBlogs #Writers #AmWriting

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This past week I have learnt the importance of forgiveness in my creative life. It came to me after I read Spirit Junkie – A Radical Road To Discovering Self Love And Miracles by Gabrielle Bernstein. The book is excellent and really resonated with me. It is one of those wonderful self-help books where you read it and cringe a lot, as you can see yourself on the page.

There is an entire section of the book dedicated to forgiveness. I never thought about the importance of forgiveness until I read this book.

If I could rename myself I would be called Little Miss Bitterness.

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How To Keep Smiling Through Tough Writing Patches #MondayBlogs #MondayMotivation

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I’m currently going through a tough writing patch and to my amazement I am still smiling!

If I had endured this struggle last year I think I would have quit and thrown myself into hand painting egg shells with bits of watercress growing out of them. I can’t paint to save my life, nor can I grow any sort of plant, other than a good strong weed, but after experiencing the rigours of the literary world I feel this hobby would bring me some creative calmness. 

Here are some ideas on how to keep smiling through tough writing patches. These are currently working for me so they have been road tested.

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Author Interviews – Liz Tipping @LizTipping #Author #WeekendBlogShare

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Welcome to my weekly blog series – Author Interviews.

These interviews give me a glimpse into the writing life of an author. They share their book journey, the obstacles they have faced and their motivations. At the end of each interview I ask the big question – what do they wear whilst writing?

This week I am struggling to contain my excitement as one of my romantic comedy author heroines has agreed to sit in my red chair. I read her first book Five Go Glamping and liked it so much I travelled to Birmingham to hear her speak at a book event. She was so funny, charming and inspiring I found myself charging up to the front to talk to her afterwards. 

After a gin or tonic or two, I built up the courage to contact her before Christmas to ask whether she would appear on my blog and……she said YES!  Dreams can come true readers!

So please welcome Liz Tipping..

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How an Act of Creative Kindness Can Turn Around a Bad Writing Day #MondayBlogs #Writers

 

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Photo Credit: Stocksnap.

Acts of creative kindness can be really powerful. They are great to receive but the feeling you get from helping another troubled creative soul is pretty special.

I recently experienced a bad writing day. It didn’t start well and turned into a day of battling against negativity and self-doubt. So I took immediate action. I stuffed some chocolate into my mouth, drew some dark shadowy figures in my diary, sulked on the loo and had a strong coffee.

I managed to recover some of the day, but I still wasn’t feeling the creative love. Half of me wanted to write the day off as a ‘bad day’ and just forget it.

Then I received a cry for help from one of my creative friends, who was struggling to make sense of a project. She was lost in the detail and desperately needed a fresh pair of eyes to help make sense of it.

So I put down my project and went to her aid.

I told myself “just because I am having a bad and unsalvageable writing day, it doesn’t mean I can’t help turn around someone else’s day!”

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The Diary of Roxy Collins – OMG He’s a Rat #romance #chicklit #MondayBlogs

 

 

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Saturday

8.45 A.M. Two things have come into my life; my ex-boyfriend Dan and my youngest son Toby’s new pet rat ‘Bob’.

I can’t say I am happy with the arrival of Bob and I can’t say my landlord Brian is thrilled either. However Bob has stopped Toby talking to his imaginary friend Malcolm. Big sigh of relief!

Brian, my 67 year old landlord, clutched his chest and went an odd grey colour at the sight of Toby’s new pet. I had no other choice but to leap into action and manoeuvre Brian out of the house before he thought too much about Bob. I promised him that Bob the rat will be properly cared for and will never be left unattended to roam free around the house.

Brian staggered off down the path muttering and shaking his head.

Just listening to Toby chat away to Bob in his cage. Its great for kids to have pets. Sigh!

8.47 A.M. I need to get a wriggle on and pack my overnight  case.

I am back with my ex Dan.

Jake and I were not really suited to each other. He seemed petrified of me the whole time. I never understood why. Dan is not scared. He likes my kind of crazy!

Dan is taking me away for the night to a fancy hotel. It is a chance for us to celebrate getting back together. Shaz, my best mate, says second time around relationships are great.

I am a bit nervous. I don’t know why but I always end up getting into some sort of drama at fancy hotels. In the past I have avoided them. Rob, my ex, refused to take me to a nice hotel as he said I would end up causing a scene.

Mystic Clive, my favourite astrologer, told me that I had to take a risk this week so I accepted Dan’s gift of a night away with him in a fancy hotel.

10.15 A.M. Still not packed my overnight case. Its lying open on the kitchen table, half full with an assortment of clothes and underwear. I can’t decide what to wear for a posh dinner in a fancy hotel so I am packing at least 4 outfits. Decision will be made later.

Arguing with Matilda, my teenage daughter, about her choice of outfit to the local shopping centre with her friends.

‘It looks like a belt [her skirt] Matilda!’ I shriek pointing in horror at the miniscule strip of denim around her waist.

‘Mam its called fashion!’ Matilda yells back at me.

‘You are NOT wearing THAT and those HUGE heels – NO!’ I scream back at her.

‘I HATE YOU RIGHT NOW!’ screeches Matilda.

‘Mam’ says Toby tugging at my arm.

‘Not now Toby’ I say striding after Matilda who is tottering towards the front door.

‘COME BACK HERE!’ I scream at her as she gives me a wink and opens the door.

‘Mam!’ urges Toby.

‘What?’ I snap, still glaring at Matilda.

‘Bob’s gone missing’ whispers Toby.

10.17 A.M. Time grinds to a halt as I flick my head to stare in horror at Toby.

‘Better dash Mam!’ says Matilda seizing her opportunity and slipping out of the door.

‘You promised me he wouldn’t escape’ I say to my nine year old.

‘He was anxious and needed a cuddle’ says Toby.

‘Toby he’s a RAT!’ I scream, ‘rats don’t suffer with anxiety!’

Speaking of anxiety here comes Brian, my landlord, up the path. OMG!

10.19 A.M. Brian has come to fix the loo.

‘How’s the pet Toby?’ he asks as he starts to climb the stairs.

‘He’s asleep in his cage’ I say quickly.

10.23 A.M. Toby and I are on our hands and knees searching the conservatory, whilst calling ‘Bob!’

10.32 A.M. Brian, the landlord wants to see Bob in his cage in the conservatory. My whole body is trembling. If he finds out there is a rat loose in the house the kids and I could be finding another place to rent.

Time for Roxy the actress to make an appearance!

‘Oh Brian I don’t feel very well’ I say putting my hand to my forehead.

‘You do look a bit peaky’ says Brian looking concerned.

‘Think I need to sit down’ I say slumping into a chair, whilst praying Brian will leave the kitchen and not go out into the conservatory to see the empty cage.

I place my head in my hands for maximum impact.

‘Good grief – what is that?’ exclaims Brian.

I can feel the blood drain from my face as I lift my head up, half expecting him to have found Bob the rat in the kitchen.

Brian is stood clutching his chest, looking an odd shade of grey and staring at my overnight case.

To my relief its just my choice of underwear hanging out of the case.

For the second time in a week I quietly manoeuvre my landlord out of my house and watch him walk down the path muttering and shaking his head.

11.10 A.M  Brian has left. We still haven’t found Bob the rat.

Toby is crying at the kitchen table.

Harry my other son is on the floor in the kitchen, waving bits of lettuce and shouting ‘BOB!’

2.00 P.M. Still no sign of Bob the rat.

We have been around the house shouting ‘Bob’. I haven’t even had chance to question whether rats answer to their name.

Toby and Harry are being led away snivelling by their father Rob.

3.00 P.M. Dan is outside in the car. I am off for a fancy night in a hotel.

As we pass Brian in his garden I give him a little wave and he looks away.

4.00 P.M. Whilst Dan is getting our room key I decide to head for the bar. I need a little glass of wine to take the edge off my frazzled mental state.

It has been an emotional day with Matilda’s skirt choices and the disappearance of Bob the rat.

I am also worried about my night in this beautiful hotel. It seems far too posh for me and there is always drama where I am concerned.

If anything goes wrong I will blame Mystic Clive.

4.10 P.M. Dan has joined me in the hotel bar. He gives me a kiss on the cheek and asks me whether there is anything wrong.

I explain that things never go right for me in posh hotels. Dan gives me a cuddle and tells me that we will have a wonderful night.

4.15 P.M. My phone bleeps. Its Rob, my ex, telling me that Toby is inconsolable about Bob the rat.

Here comes the mother guilt. I am sat drinking wine with handsome man whilst youngest son is having a breakdown about a lost pet!’

7.23 P.M. Doing my makeup in our hotel room. Dan has already commented how beautiful I look in my dress. He looks very handsome too.

I am stood in the bathroom trying to recreate Kim Kardashian’s contouring look but failing miserably.

‘Good grief what is that?’ screeches Dan from the bedroom.

I groan. What is it with men and my choice of underwear?

Why can’t a girl (woman in her thirties) have nice….colourful…tiny underwear garments?

I drop my makeup brush and race out of the bathroom. Dan is stood white faced by the door.

My eyes fall upon Bob the rat, sticking up out of my case and sniffing the air.

‘OMG it’s BOB!’ I scream!

‘What?? You know the RAT sticking it’s head out of your knickers ROXY?’ shrieks Dan.

I blame Mystic Clive for everything.

 

For more Roxy please click here

 

Things To Do Before Leaping Out Of Your Comfort Zone #MondayBlogs #Podcasting #Writers

Things To Do Before Leaping Out Of Your Comfort Zone

In the next few weeks I will be leaping out of my comfort zone with the launch of my comedy fictional podcast.

I have never done anything like this before. It took me a long time to share my writing on my blog and when I did it felt like a leap out of my comfort zone. Then I took another jump outside my warm and coxy comfort zone by sticking my stuff on Wattpad. Now it feels like I am going to be flinging myself into the air yet again by taking my work onto iTunes and putting my own voice to it, as opposed to hiding behind a blog post.

So I thought it would be a good idea to do a preparation style blog post, which will run through all the things you need to do before leaping outside of your comfort zone.

Things to do before leaping out of your comfort zone:

  1. Focus on the why. Think about why you are leaping out of your comfort zone and the benefits that it will bring. These benefits will help you fight your way through fear. Ok so I am just running through my reasons for this…I am nutsdeluded and have a screw loose. There is one reason and that it is – I want to perform a bit of magic. I want to see whether I can lift my Roxy Collins comedy off the page and bring my character and her world to life via a weekly podcast. This for me is what being a writer is really about; making people, worlds and stories come alive.
  2. Enjoy the build up experience. Have some fun along the way and the enjoy the build up to leaping out of your comfort zone. I can’t say that listening to my own voice again and again has been fun but teaching myself how to use GarageBand has been really enjoyable. Celebrating my success on joining up the podcast intro music, the voice intro, the narration and end music in GarageBand resulted in me doing an energetic celebratory dance around the kitchen. I know some of you out there will be now eye rolling your laptop / tablet screen whilst muttering “that is soooo easy!” I struggle with simple things. Rewriting parts of Roxy and adapting it for a podcast has brought me closer to my characters. I feel like I am starting to get under the skin of Roxy and hearing her talk, in the voice that I am using, is quite surreal.
  3. Start a diary. Use a diary to record your feelings as you prepare to journey into the unknown. A diary is useful for working through the huge bouts of self-doubt which go hand in hand with taking a leap out of your comfort zone. A diary takes away some of the pressure from friends and family as you can turn to it day or night.
  4. Listen to upbeat and motivational music. Do everything you can to remain positive.  I have created a new playlist full of pop classics and 80’s movie soundtracks.
  5. Embrace the idea of making a fool of yourself. Ditch the perfect image of yourself!  In order to bring my character Roxy to life I am going to have to make a fool of myself. But the urge to do something magical is stronger than the fear of people laughing at me.
  6. Create a list of powerful quotes for the final days before you jump out of your comfort zone. Steven Pressfield in his book ‘The War of Art’ talks about how the fight against resistance is worse at the end of a project when your energy levels are low and you are vulnerable.  So here are the quotes that are keeping me going:

 

More often than not, being brave means doing it scared – Michael Hyatt.

 

The more important an activity is to your soul’s evolution, the more resistance you will feel to it – the more fear you will feel – Steven Pressfield

 

Until you are ready to look foolish, you’ll never have the possibility of being great – Cher

 

Wish me luck readers!

Stay tuned for news of my gigantic leap into the unknown; the world of podcasting!

Have a fabulous day and virtual hugs to all those currently thinking about taking a leap out of their comfort zone!

If We Were Having Coffee #WeekendCoffeeShare #SundayBlogShare #writers

If We Were Having Coffee..

I would start off our chat by diving into a huge slice of cake. You would have to give me five minutes as it is against my religion to leave cake untouched. After a couple of giant mouthfuls and some soft moans of cake pleasure from me, I would start to tell you all about the book which has changed my writing life. I am a messy eater so you would have to watch out for crumb spray.

This book ‘The War of Art’ has been a writing game changer for me. I used to have huge battles against resistance and lose. My projects would be stopped or shelved as resistance would win every time. Since reading this book I have found a new inner strength which means I now fight resistance and send it scurrying into its hole. I write everyday now and I finish stuff!  This is an indication of how good this book is!

What I love about this book is that he writes from experience. He knows all the crap you tell yourself when you are an aspiring writer and he understands your thought processes. He also labours the point that writing is a craft which needs to be learnt and this WILL take years. You have just got to keep writing and fighting resistance.

By the end of our coffee session I would be licking the cake plate clean and you would be busy checking out the reviews online.

During our coffee session I would tell you that I am very close to coming out of my creative comfort zone. In August I will be putting ‘The Diary of Roxy Collins’ fictional, chicklit podcast live on iTunes. *Deep breaths*

You might not have heard of Roxy so I would explain that this is a comedy blog series that I wrote last year. In her diary Roxy records her dating highs and lows. She also reveals the challenges she faces with three spirited kids, two useless ex-partners and the wobbly bits on her hips and thighs which no diet can eliminate.

Roxy is looking for love third time around!

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My reasons for doing a fictional podcast are:

  • I am a huge fan of serialised fiction.
  • I listen to hundreds of free podcasts.
  • I feel like doing something crazy.
  • Roxy is funny, I know this because of my Wattpad experience. The challenge is whether I can bring that humour to life through a podcast.
  • I know a few people already podcasting so I know what I need to do to make it happen. Don’t worry I will be writing posts on how to make a podcast as it has been an eye opener for me.

I am currently rewriting and lengthening the story of Roxy. You will notice that she has disappeared from my blog. Going back to something you wrote 10 months ago is certainly interesting!

Luckily the readers of Wattpad have given me clear instructions on what works and what doesn’t work. Certain characters have been given bigger roles; surprisingly Roxy’s 90-year-old Great Aunt Vera has been a real hit with my Wattpad readers so I am busy wheeling her back out.

I was going to get someone professional to voice the narration but that became very complicated and as I am interested in comedy I thought… “what the hell – I will do it myself!”  *nervous look* followed by me *shoehorning huge piece of cake into mouth*

You will be glad to know that I have got someone professional to voice the introduction to the podcasts. I will ignore the look of relief passing across your face. If all else fails at least it will have a good opening!  If you attended the Annual Bloggers Awards Bash you might recognise a familar voice.

Attempting this podcast feels so good I feel lightheaded, but it is also incredibly gut clenching scary. There is a great quote from Steven Pressfield’s book which is keeping me going.

Are you paralyzed with fear? That’s a good sign. Fear is good. Like self-doubt, fear is an indicator. Fear tells us what we have to do. Remember one rule of thumb: the more scared we are of a work or calling, the more sure we can be that we have to do it. Steven Pressfield

As we order a second round of hot drinks I would also tell you that my first draft of ‘Instructions For Falling In Love Again‘ is out with beta readers. I am already excited about working on the second draft. Just need to stop feeling emotional and precious about it.

With each revision a story gets stronger and more refined. Love the revision  process!

Once Roxy is doing her thing on iTunes I will see if I am ready to start my second draft.

I will end our coffee session by giving you a hug and thanking you for paying the bill 😉

These Coffee Share posts are the idea of Part Time Monster Blog. 

We must meet up for coffee again – this was really fun!

Psst. Steven Pressfield’s latest book ‘Nobody Wants To Read Your Sh*T” is also AMAZING!

Photo: StockSnap

The Diary of Roxy Collins – The Great Kiss #ChickLit #BloggingGals

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Friday

2.05 A.M. My best friend Shaz has just given birth to a beautiful baby boy.

We are both in tears watching him being wrapped up in a white towel by a mid wife.

“He’s adorable Shaz,” I whisper, wiping away tears. “Just think he’s made entirely out of Snickers bars!”

“Thanks Roxy for being here with me,”says Shaz stroking her baby’s soft black hair.

“Hey that’s what best mates do,” I say, giving Shaz’s shoulder a squeeze.

“I don’t know what I would do without you!” croaks Shaz ,staring up at me with tear filled eyes.

Tears start to pour down our faces and a Midwife hands us a box of tissues.

2.56 A.M. I stagger out of the delivery room to find Brian, my landlord, asleep on a row of waiting chairs. I give him a nudge and he wakes looking startled.

When he heard that Shaz had gone into labour he and his wife Patricia leapt into action. Patricia sorted out my kids and Brian headed to the hospital. Even though he moans about me and my kids I think deep down Brian does care about me. He knows how important Shaz is to me.

“Well?” he asks.

“A baby boy!” I squeal.

“All well?” he asks.

“Perfect!” I say, as Brian holds open his arms and gives me a hug.

“Come on!” he says, “lets get you home.”

As we head towards Brian’s car I check my phone.

Two texts are waiting for me.

One is from my ex Dan. I gasp.

It reads ‘I I have made a big mistake Roxy, I love you!’

One is from Marcus. It reads “We need to talk. Hope Shaz and baby are ok!”

Stew over both texts in car on the way home.

9.05 A.M. Sat in work, in a dazed, almost surreal state.

Martin, my line manager, is on the phone to his mother as her bowel condition has flared up again.

I try to block out the details of Martin’s mother’s bowel condition and think about Marcus. He left the hospital shortly after we entered the Maternity building. Everything felt awkward.  Plus Shaz was screaming in pain.

I can’t get his words “I like rescuing you!” out of my head.

I glance up to see his office down the corridor and I can see him sat at his desk.

My phone bleeps. Its Dan telling me how sorry he is and how confused he’s been over Clara and I. Apparently he’s finally made his choice and its me. My heart sinks.

10.05 A.M. Marcus has left the office to go work from home. I casually overheard one of the personal assistants on the phone to someone.

I go back to his text. Maybe I should text him or phone him?

3.50 P.M. Martin let me leave early as I was struggling to stay awake at the desk.

Shaz’s labour was long and exhausting, not just for her but for me as well. Today I am feeling both physically and mentally drained. Plus my mind is full of romance issues.

Still no word from Marcus and I have made no attempt to contact him.

5.56 P.M. Lying on my sofa listening to Matilda tell me about how in love she is with this new boyfriend Matt. They have been friends for years although I have never heard her mention his name before.

Apparently in his spare time he does a lot of charity work, cares for sick animals, visits lonely old people in nursing homes and he has never had a proper girlfriend before. I am amazed that she’s found someone so….saintly.

“So can I go sleep at his house tonight then?” she asks, whilst filing her nails.

“No Matilda!” I say, before letting out a sigh. Sometimes I wish we could talk about something which doesn’t end in me saying ‘no’ a number of different ways.

“Why not?” she asks.

“Because you are not old enough to sleep over at a boyfriend’s house!” I say.

“But he’s such a caring person,” says Matilda, placing down her leopard print nail file to glare at me.

“If you told me he walks on water in his spare time it would still be no!” I say.

“He’s not interested in doing anything with me Mam if that’s what you are worried about!” shrieks Matilda. “He’s different! He just wants to read me romantic poetry!”

“No!” I say, placing a cushion over my head, hoping she’ll go upstairs.

I have had enough of this conversation and my teenage daughter.

7. 10 P.M. There is a knock at my front door.

Matilda and I are screaming at each other in the kitchen and the person at the door has to knock at a second time.

My daughter doesn’t give up on things. Once she gets an idea in her head she’s a nightmare.

I blame Jon, her father. Obviously this stubborness is nothing to do with me.

I storm off to the door and yank it open.

Stood on the doorstep is Dan clutching a huge bouquet of flowers and chocolates.

“I’m so sorry Roxy,” he says.

“What?” is all I can say. I stare at him.

“I made a silly mistake in that hotel room and I should never have let you go. Clara means nothing to me. I love you Roxy!” he says.

“But I don’t…..” I start to say.

“Please take me back Roxy! I will move down here and forget Clara” he begs.

“Roxy!” says a voice behind Dan. I look up to see Marcus coming up the path.

“Marcus!” I say with relief.

“I told you I like rescuing you” he says cheerfully.

Dan’s face falls and he stares at Marcus and then at me.

“I’m sorry Dan,” I say. “I’m not interested. Say hi to Clara for me won’t you? Come in Marcus!”

I close the door on Dan and stand looking at Marcus. My little hallway is a bit of a squeeze at the best of times but it feels even smaller tonight.

“I came to tell you that….” says Marcus and pauses.

“What?” I say, my heart thudding.

“I never recovered from that kiss by the photocopier a year ago. It was quite a kiss and I have not been able to get you out of my mind, ” admits Marcus, reaching out to stroke my cheek.

“Really?” I ask.

“When I saw you in the cinema I realised that I somehow had to be with you Roxy!” he whispers. “I quit my job because I wanted to be with you!”

I throw my arms around him and our lips come together.

“OMG that is gross!” shrieks Matilda from the kitchen.

Marcus grins and I sink into him.

“I am in love with you Roxy Collins!” he says, stroking my hair.

“I never forgot about that kiss either!” I say, gazing longingly into his sea blue eyes.

“You are quite a kisser!” he whispers.

“But I have kids and wobbly bits” I say.

“I don’t care, I just want to be with you Roxy Collins!”

9.08 P.M. Lying on sofa with Marcus. Happy. I have finally found my prince.

To be continued…

The Diary of Roxy Collins – Marcus – Part 29 #Romance #comedy

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Thursday

9.15 a.m. Receive a mixed reaction from the office to my new vibrant red hair colour.

Martin, my line manager, takes one look at me, grips the desk and says ‘good grief Roxy what have you done!’

The nice men on the IT helpdesk give me a thumbs up and then ask me to fake an IT problem so they can spend time with me.

The young trendy girls in the office give me a ‘OMG – cooooooool hair!’

The older women in the office cast me a puzzled look and ask me whether the colour is permanent.

If I am honest, Wayne did get carried away with the colour of my hair. I was left speecheless when he gave me the mirror.

Matilda, my teenage daughter, arrived home from her Cheerleading training session, took one look at my hair and rolled her eyes. I then overheard her, later in her room, making a YouTube video titled ‘When your mother thinks she’s 21 again’.

9.25 a.m. Marcus, my senior manager, walks past my desk and gives me a smile. The weird fluttering sensation in my chest returns.

10.05 a.m. Receive text from Matilda, my teenage daughter, asking whether she can stay over at her new boyfriend Matt’s house tonight.

I am not sure whether Matilda thinks that I am suffering from amnesia. I have been saying no to this request for months. This is not happening. She’s not staying over at a boy’s house!

I text back ‘NO!’

Text back from Matilda ‘relax Mam, it is just like a girlie sleepover but with a boy!’

I text back ‘NO!’

Text from Matilda ‘Lou [her best friend] says her Mum would let her stay over with a boy’

I text back ‘I am not Lou’s mother!’

Text from Matila ‘Matt and I both hate you!’ and eight devil emojis.

10.20 a.m. Sat in a meeting where Marcus is presenting some business statistics.

All the department are sat on chairs in rows. Some of us are listening, some are nearly asleep (Mike from Finance), some are bored rigid, some are staring out of the window and some of us are drooling at Marcus.

For some unknown reason I can’t take my eyes off him; his fitted pink shirt, his grey pin stripe trousers and his styled grey flecked hair.

10.24 a.m. He’s still talking but I have noticed the occasional glance in my direction from him.

10.25 a.m. He’s done it again. Looked at me from across the room.

I am so glad no one else  has noticed this.

I am tapped on the shoulder, from behind, by Helen from Accounts. ‘Why does Mr Hot keep staring at you?’ she whispers.

I shrug my shoulders and keep my eyes firmly fixed on Marcus.

‘Maybe he likes your new hair colour’ Helen whispers, making me nod in agreement.

‘Maybe he fancies you!’ she whispers into my ear. The idea of Marcus being attracted to me starts to take shape. I am consumed by the fluttery sensation in my chest again and I can feel my cheeks heating up.

In an instant my brain runs through how our wedding day will look and whether or not I will invite anyone from the office to the evening celebration.

‘He’s a senior manager Roxy’ Helen whispers. My fantasy starts to crack.

‘Unlucky honey – he couldn’t date you anyway in his position of authority’ she hisses.

I turn around to glare at her face which is taut and twisted.

Helen has never really moved on from the blonde surfer who broke her heart. She hates to see anyone else getting some attention from the opposite sex.

My fantasy with Marcus is broken.

He gives me a look and I smile. The daydream was nice whilst it lasted.

For the record if I did get married Helen from Accounts will not be invited to the evening celebration.

10. 34 a.m. Get back to my desk and see email from Marcus. He wants to me come to his office as he has an update for me.

10.36 a.m. As I walk towards his office my phone bleeps. I casually peek at it and gasp. Its from Shaz, my heavily pregnant best friend.

‘I have pains – think its labour’ Shaz texts.

Quickly I text back. ‘You are four weeks early. Its probably Braxton-Hicks’

‘It hurts’ texts Shaz. She also includes eight crying emojis.

‘How many Snickers bars have you had?’ I text back.

‘Ten – why?’ texts Shaz.

‘Stop eating Snickers bars!’ I text back.

‘Are you still going to be my birthing partner?’ texts Shaz.

‘Yes – always – get some rest!’ I text back.

10. 37 a.m. I sit opposite Marcus and I can’t stop the fluttering sensation in my chest. It must be my breakfast repeating on me.

As he is on the phone I check my bag for some indigestion tablets. I don’t have any so I pop a mint.

10. 50 a.m. He finally puts down his phone and holds my gaze.

‘Roxy’ he says in his sexy smooth voice. I notice that his sea blue eyes are not sparkling today.

‘I am leaving the company’ he announces.

My heart sinks.

For a moment we both sit and stare at each other.

My phone starts ringing.

I let my phone ring. A lump has risen in my throat. I am actually sad to hear Marcus’s news.

‘There will be a formal briefing later. I wanted to tell you myself’ he says, breaking eye contact and shuffling some folders around his desk.

My phone starts ringing again from inside my handbag.

‘I am so sorry Marcus’ I say, trying not to cry. It is not good for your career to cry when a senior manager says they are leaving. All emotion must be kept to a minimum. I just hope I am not asked to sign his leaving card. I struggle with writing comments on leaving cards as my emotions run wild. I have been known to give people the wrong impression. Kevin from Accounts, who left the company, still thinks there is something between us six years on.

My phone will not stop ringing.

‘I think it is my daughter calling to tell me she hates me’ I moan, praying that whoever it decides to stop calling. I just hope Matilda has not taken it upon herself to accept Matt’s invitation of a sleep over and is now calling to tell me.

It will not be the first time that I have to physically remove her from a boy’s house. These teenage years are really hard.

Matilda seems to be a magnet for boys. I think we need to have a mother and daughter heart to heart.

‘i just wanted to say….’ he pauses. He takes a breath and looks away.

‘I will miss you’ the words fly out of my mouth and take me by surprise. I do struggle when my brain and mouth decide to disconnect.

His eyes widen and I watch his mouth fall open.

My phone is ringing. This has to be an emergency. I just hope Matilda is not over at Matt’s house having her own version of a sleepover…during the day.

I check the screen. Its Shaz. Quickly I answer it.

‘I need to go to the hospital Roxy, the pain is really bad’ groans Shaz.

‘Marcus’ I say. ‘I have to go, my best friend thinks she’s in labour and I am her birthing partner’

Marcus looks shocked and runs his hand through his grey flecked hair.

‘Isn’t the father about?’ he enquires.

‘Sadly not, he doesn’t want anything to do with her. It is a long story. He’s a postman’ I explain.

‘Do you have a car?’ he asks.

I shake my head. ‘I will get a taxi’ I say reaching for my purse.

‘Let me help you’ he says, rising from his chair and grabbing his jacket.

Now it is my turn to be shocked.

‘But you are the senior manager’ I say grabbing my bag.

‘I am leaving Roxy’ he says, whilst giving me a huge smile.

11.30 a.m. Marcus is driving at pace through town and towards the hospital.

Shaz and I are in the back of his Jaguar. I am holding Shaz’s hand whilst she groans and mumbles ‘Snickers bar….someone get me a Snickers Bar…help me!’

He keeps catching my eye in the mirror.

I am nervous for Shaz but I am consumed once again by this fluttery feeling.

11.40 a.m. Marcus and I are pushing Shaz in a wheelchair, up to the Maternity section of the hospital.

‘You didn’t have to do this!’ I shout as we race along.

‘I like rescuing you Roxy’ he says and turns to look at me.

We both stop pushing the wheel chair and stare at each other.

The world around us seems to stop.

All I can hear is the thudding of my heart.

‘Really?’ I ask.

‘That’s all I want to do’ he says, holding my gaze.

‘OMG Roxy I am in labour and you are on the bloody pull!’ shrieks Shaz.

 

 

The Diary of Roxy Collins – Part 23 The Matchmaker #comedy #MondayBlogs #Chicklit

thediaryof

 

 

 

Wednesday

2.25 P.M. I am in a team meeting at work.

The entire office team are listening to Martin’s lecture on some dull and meaningless statistics that he has produced.

We are all giving each other awkward looks. Martin is letting out soft little moans when pointing to his graphs.

Rob from IT leans across and whispers ‘I think his ‘stat pack’ is arousing him!’

Try to stifle giggle.

I can understand why Martin has no luck on the dating front.

2.40 P.M. Martin is still droning on.

Listening to his dreary monotone voice is making my eyelids feel heavy.

2.58 P.M. ‘Roxy are you still with us?’ says Martin, making me jolt in my seat. I must have nodded off. The team are smirking at me.

Wipe away sleep dribble from the corner of my mouth, straighten my blouse and sit upright in seat.

3.00 P.M. The meeting has ended.

Totter back to desk in my new cheap, but fashionable, high heels.

Shaz has been urging me to increase my stiletto size for some time.  She thinks this is where I have been going wrong on the dating front all these years.

So far this new shoe dating strategy has left me with ankles coated in blisters, throbbing feet, a nasty bruise on my thigh, after losing my balance in the office earlier, and no dates!

Groan at calendar. I am supposed to be going to another meeting three floors away.

How is a girl like me supposed cover that sort of ground in shoes that feel like stilts?

Get distracted and check phone.

Gasp!

I have three missed calls from Great Aunt Vera’s nursing home.

Is this bad news? She seemed fine at the weekend.

She will not be happy if she passes away before tomorrow’s perm appointment.

Great Aunt Vera’s regular perm is something she looks forward to, along with Bingo, Downton, gossiping and hearing the family say they are leaving after a visit.

‘Roxy’ she said to me, the other week. ‘When my time is up…’

‘Lets not talk about sad stuff Aunt Vera’ I said, placing my hand on her arm.

‘I do hope it is after Ken (her beloved mobile hairdresser) has done my hair.’

 

3.05 P.M. Make call at desk to Great Aunt Vera’s nursing home.

My hand is trembling and my heart is pounding.

‘Hi, I have had three missed calls from this number and I am worried something has happened to my Great Aunt’ I say to the male voice, at the end of the phone.

‘Oh’ says the voice. ‘Who is your Great Aunt?’ he asks.

‘Vera Brown’ I say.

Silence.

There must be a crossed line as I am sure I can hear someone whispering ‘we should be so lucky!’

‘Hello, your Aunt is fit and well. Is it Roxy?’ asks the voice.

‘Oh yes, thank god I was so worried’ I gasp.

‘Trust me there is nothing wrong with that….erm….I mean her’ says the voice.

‘Do you know what she wanted?’ I ask, wondering why she would call me.

‘She wants to talk to you. Hang on I will see if I can wheel her in’ says the voice.

The phone goes silent and I try to calm my racing heart

3.06 P.M. I can hear Great Aunt Vera arguing with whoever is pushing her to the phone.

‘ROXY!’ she barks down the phone, making me hold the receiver away from my ear.

‘Hello Aunt Vera’ I say.

‘I have called you three  times. What on earth have you been doing?’ she shrieks, making me wonder whether she has her hearing aid turned on.

‘I am at work’ I say.

‘Nonsense!’ says Great Aunt Vera. ‘Now listen to me, you need to come up here ASAP’.

‘I am at work, I can’t just leave’ I say, watching Martin return to the desk.

‘Tell your boss an elderly relative needs you urgently’ says Great Aunt Vera.

‘I will talk to my boss’ I say, giving Martin a smile and a little wave.

‘Tell him I am knocking at the pearly gates and you want to say a few last words’ says Great Aunt Vera.

 

3.45 P.M. Just hobbling into the nursing home.

In view of the pain I am in with my heels I am looking longingly at the row of wheelchairs lined up by the door.

I must not complain as I managed to avoid that meeting three floors down.

Luckily Shaz was on hand to collect the kids for me.

I totter into the Day Room to see Great Aunt Vera sat with Jake, the handsome man I met on Sunday in this very room. He was helping his Grandfather, Donald, settle into his new nursing home.

‘ROXY!’ barks Great Aunt Vera as I make my way over to them.

‘He is going to take you out to dinner’ she says using her walking stick to point at Jake.

‘What?’ is all I can mutter.

‘You need a man and this one is free’ says Great Aunt Vera.

‘But…’ is all I can say. Words have failed me.

‘Roxy the family are concerned that you are still  unmarried’ says Great Aunt Vera, shaking her stick at me.

‘Really?’ I query.

‘Roxy don’t argue with me. Now off you both go as I need a lie down before Bingo’ she croaks.

Jake and I watch as Great Aunt Vera clicks her fingers and a young female nursing assistant pushes her out of the Day Room.

Jake and I stand facing each other. Neither of us knows what to say next.

Hmmm this is awkward.

3.47 P.M. ‘Does your Great Aunt set up all your dates?’ asks Jake, breaking the silence.

I feel my face reddening.

‘Listen, if you don’t want to go out for dinner I won’t mind’ says Jake.

‘Its ok’ I say quickly. ‘I just need to sort out childcare’.

‘Oh’ he looks shocked. ‘You have kids?’

‘Yes three’ I say, reaching for my phone.

‘Three?‘ he sounds surprised.

I nod. It is clear my matchmaker has not filled him in on my details.

‘I have never been out with anyone who has kids’ he says, taking a small step back and running his hand through his shiny black hair.

‘You haven’t lived then’ I say giving him a cheeky smile.

‘Are they good  kids?’ he asks.

‘Angels’ I say texting Shaz to find out when she can babysit and ignoring the series of texts from Matilda, my teenage daughter, telling me how much she hates her life, hates school, hates her friends, hates her family and hates her parents.

3.58 P.M. Hobbling out of the nursing home and cursing Shaz as my feet are killing me.

‘Nice heels’ says Jake. I grimace.

4.05 P.M. We are stood on the steps of the nursing home.

Jake is now looking pale and is shifting his weight from foot to foot. I am sensing he is a bit shocked at my revelation about the kids.

‘So, I will see you Friday night at the pizza place in town?’ he asks.

‘Yes it will be fun’ I say, giving him a smile.

‘Are you divorced then from your children’s father?’ he asks, scratching his head.

‘I never married’ I say.

‘Oh’ he murmurs.

‘Either of them’ I say as the faces of Jon and Rob flash into my brain.

‘So there is more than one ex?’ he asks, raising his eyebrows.

‘Yes – one is now gay and the other left me for a barmaid’ I say, letting out a sigh. I am breaking new dating territory by revealing this sort of stuff pre first date.

Jake’s mouth is open and his eyes have stopped blinking.

I think he is going to enjoy dating me.