books, lemme tell you a story, ness rambles, ness talks about life

// home again

I brought forty-six books home with me. And a pair of glorious heels and five packs of sweets, but … forty-six books … I feel like a proper bookworm.

a properly penniless bookworm, that is

The check-in luggage weight limit was 23kg. I made it 22.8kg. I high-fived the check-in bloke and did not gush about Travel Panic, The Lift My Friends Gave Me and how so very thankful and relieved I was that the bag and my carry-on case had scraped by their weight limits.

I would never do something that undignified.

So incredibly tired and rambling a mile a minute, I arrived home at the obscene hour of eight in the morning without a wink of sleep from the night before. (I don’t sleep on planes. I do, however, talk to Grandfatherly Russians and accidently slap seatmates in the face with my jacket.)

It was an amazing six weeks across the pond, but don’t worry – I shan’t bore you with stories, though I am rather proud of fist-bumping Mickey Mouse and singing (magnificently off key, of course) ‘Country Roads’ as we went through the Blue Ridge Mountains and West Virginia.

Also – Cup Cake Wars. ’nuff said

Oh! And I visited my happiest place on earth, and no – that’s not Disneyworld (which was fun but my word did the queues never end, did the heat never cease, and was Tinker Bell always so. astoundingly. perky?). It masquerades as ‘The Book Barn’. It is both a graveyard of trees and a magical world of endless stories. Also, it has free donuts.

do not trust the donuts.

It’s been an epic second trip across the pond; apart from mammal riding (donkey, camel, horse, whale) I think I’ve used every form of transport there is. Oh, and guess what? My cab driver wasn’t a killer robot. And yes, I caught that first train. But the second one? To go the airport? To come home?

Ah. Yes. That one.

They had to replace the engine.

how have you been?

ness talks about life

// adieu and farewell

One of the advantages of having a vivid imagination is that writing can be such fun; you’re never quite sure what will happen next in a story. But the disadvantages?

Ah. Yes. Those.

By the time this post will be live, I will probably be on my way to America. Probably. Remember that ‘vivid imagination’ I was just telling you about? It can be a bit of a pain.

For instance, I have a suitcase. It’s pink. It just fits the airline’s regulations for a carry on case. In my mind, that suitcase is taken away from me. It doesn’t fit. A stern member of the cabin crew is unforgiving and stoic. They charge me my first-born child, a fortune and my soul to put it in the hold.

Or, I get to America. And miss my train. An American train. I have enough trouble with English public transport, but American?! Everything is bigger there, is it not? INCLUDING MY MISHAPS! I’ll miss my train and the next train (yes, I’ve booked two trains just in case) and then I am stranded in America. In a big city. On my own.

I’ll get hopelessly lost and it will be dark and my life will end in one big hodgepodge of embarrassment and regret.

Or, I’ll climb into a cab only to find that *plot twist!* it isn’t a cab.

Do you see the pitfalls of a vivid imagination? Do you? Do you?!! It’s agony and despair and annoyingly, quite hilarious when you really think about it.

All the best adventures are the ones that are surprising. In the meantime, I’ve chosen the book to take with me (Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier) and need a good night’s sleep to prepare for the ridiculous time I have to leave in the morning.

Vivid Imagination, I defy you. Whatever does happen – be the journey bad or good, full of worry or realising that my phone doesn’t call American numbers and I DON’T EVEN KNOW WHAT THE THING YOU ADD TO THE THING IS … I’m going to relish it as an adventure and pray with the desperation of an Englishwoman who has just realised she’s not going to taste True Tea for a while.

So there.

if she hasn’t accidentally caught the wrong flight and found herself stranded in the jungles of Darkest Peru, Ness will be back in six weeks


An Accidental Publishing

fog at Mystic Seaport

A year ago, I travelled to America and wrote a book, amongst many other things (sort-of-fainting, firefly spottings, book bingeing, wearing a polka dot dress with blue tights and red shoes – you know, the usual).

Inspired by Mystic Seaport, several friends and I sat around a table and concocted a plot. It was going to have action, adventure, a spice of mystery and a great dollop of humour. (Humour spelt without that English ‘u’, by the way).

And then, plot developed,  I settled down to the task of bringing our plot bubbles, character sheets and knock, knock jokes to life.

And so I did. My friend proof-read it, just to make sure that I had the American lingo down to pat. These things are important, you know. I’d never consciously written ‘sneakers’ before. Or ‘potato chips’. It was all very novel.

Once this was done – the night before I departed from Uncle Sam’s shores, I finished the Blurb book of ‘Accidental Adventure’ and ordered two copies: one for my friends, and one for me.

And that was that, the books arrived at their destinations and my version sat on my shelf. I dabbled in a little editing, but it was largely untouched. Until … until now.

Because I am a contrary creature, who apparently detests doing the things I am actually supposed to be doing (*cough* Our Intrepid Heroine the Second *cough*), in honour of the anniversary of my trip to the U S of A, I decided to publish ‘Accidental Adventure’ – the story that was written before Our Intrepid Heroine was completed.

Much editing, overhauling, adding and subtracting later, it is done. Drum-roll please …

ouraccidentaladventureaquaOne moment they are sailing across a sheltered bay for a camping trip, the next they are surrounded by fog and end up in the Caribbean.

Or are they?

A highly improbable adventure, in which fishermen wear suits, English gentlemen aren’t quite what they seem and three siblings can’t tell friend from foe.

It’s contemporary, Christian, sprinkled with knock, knock jokes and dosed with wildly improbable happenings. But you know what? Suspend your disbelief for just a little while, and sail along with a tale born around a circular table, across the proverbial pond.

Kindle // Goodreads