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Friday, 31 August 2007

Basket is full....

I've just had fun shopping on Amazon and have just purchased the following...


you had me at halo - by Amanda Ashby
(I meant to buy this weeks ago - I thought I'd bought it from Amazon and when I just checked it was still sitting in my basket. Hm, so I have definitely bought it today!!)




Wish You Were Here - by Phillipa Ashley
(I'm sooo excited to read this!)






Confessions of an Air Hostess - by Marisa Mackle
(I've started collecting LBD books and this one looks fun!)



How to be Popular.... - by Meg Cabot
(I like reading teen books too!)

Shopping done, I'm off to work!
x

Hair Today...

Well I've had my hair cut and I'm NOT happy!
I usually have it cut by a lovely guy called Ben - he's great. I get half price discount because my friends works on reception.
So the other day I phoned my friend and said I needed an appointment for later that day if possible. He told me the lovely Ben was at the other salon and as my friend was at a different one he convinced me to come to his salon so that we could have a catch-up and he'd fit me in with Tom 'who's just as good as Ben...'

Well, Tom annoyed me within minutes. I sat in the chair and he said straight away that he'd like to put in a sweeping fringe.
'I just want a trim.' I smiled.
'I think a sweeping fringe would suit you and it will hide your scar...'
On my right cheek I have a skin graft, I was born with a really dark, prominent birthmark and had it removed at the age of 2. My skin graft has never bothered me, I never even think about it, so you can imagine how I politely frowned at Tom.
'I don't want to hide it.' I smiled.
'Yeah, but you must get days when you're feeling self conscious?'
'No, never.' I said truthfully.

So, Tom said it would still suit me - blah, blah, blah... He then said he'd give me a Posh Spice bob.
'Noooo, way too short.' I said.
'Yeah, but it will look nice.'
'I honestly just want a trim.'
'Well think about it whilst I wash your hair.'

I use the term 'wash my hair' loosely - because he also managed to wash my neck, my ear, my face...

We get back to the seat and he said 'so have you had chance to think about it?'
'Yes, can we keep it long please?'
'Ok, I'll give you lots of layers...'
'Tom,' I said. "I do a lot of writing and I hate my hair getting in the way. I hate messing with it in the mornings and I need to be able to tie it back.'
He promised me this would be fine.

One hour later and I wanted to cry. It's still to my shoulders, but there are so many layers in it that it still manages to look short.
He blow-dried it in to a bouffant and refused to straighten it for me because I'd 'look like a Chav!'

'Wow, you look like a 1950's Glamour Queen.' he mumbled.
'Hmm, shame I'm going straight to work...'

I did not leave the man a tip although I was tempted to leave one in the form of 'get over yourself you arrogant little boy...'

I phoned Mr Sally and said ' I think I have a helmet head!'
He assured me it looked nice when I did see him.
'Do I look like a Lego character?' I wailed.
He said I didn't!!!

Lots of people have said it's nice, but I HATE it.
I can't straighten it properly because the layers keep sticking out.
Oh and yes I can tie it back although a huge pack of hair clips are needed.
My sweeping fringe has been pushed back over and I have a little sweep on my forehead, which looks nice and isn't trying to hide any part of my face!!!

I'll be going to see Ben from now on!

x

Tuesday, 28 August 2007

What's in a Name?

Not many people realise that my name isn't actually Sally.
My name is Talitha! It's a beautiful name, but nobody ever calls it me!

Basically the short story is, I was born Talitha, Sarah, Elizabeth Lawton and my great gran was called Sarah, Elizabeth but everyone called her Sally for short!

So, everyone started calling me Tally-Sally and my brother couldn't say Talitha when he was little and called me Sally - and Sally stuck with everyone!
Not even my parents call me Talitha!

I told my agent for official things my name is Talitha, and she wants me to use it on my books.
I have agreed, but I still don't know how I feel about it. I don't think of myself as Talitha, I'm Sally! My website and everything I've ever done with my writing is under Sally - but I do agree it would look lovely on a book cover!
My parents are naturally delighted the name will finally get used!

x

Monday, 27 August 2007

... and relax

Ah - after working a full week at the theatre, Mr Sally and I had yesterday off.
His gym were letting in guests for free because it was Bank Holiday so I went along for a swim.
Well, I had the entire pool to myself... and I had an hour and a half on my own to think about my book and revisions - brilliant!
Then Mr Sally came out of the gym and decided to join me in the pool - he slipped on the steps getting in to the pool and I swear it was the funniest thing I've seen in ages (although he didn't share the humour!) Ha-ha! I'm still laughing now!
We ended our afternoon in a relaxing Spa and it was gorgeous.

I feel refreshed today, even though I've got to do a show tonight and next week the dreaded day job looms. Agh - after a summer off, I honestly, honestly don't want to go back. Mr Sally has promised me a Caribbean holiday at the end of Sep though... something to look forward to. We've had bit of a strange year and a relaxing hol is just what we need!

x

Phillipa Ashley



I read 'Decent Exposure' in two days. I would have read it much quicker if I hadn't had to do two shows on Saturday.

Set in the Lake District (my favourite place in the whole world) this is the most wonderful love story. I've honestly never willed two people to be together as much as I did with this book.

This is the first Little Black Dress book I've read so far, and now I can't wait to read the rest, and definitely anything else by Phillipa Ashley. A fantastic story-teller!

Friday, 24 August 2007

Ouch...

Two shows yesterday and the sun was BOILING, so the theatre was sweaty and horrible.
By the end of the final show, everyone was agreed a nice cold beer was needed... except one beer led to a few and today I'm paying the price.

My head hurts... I never drink that much, so you can imagine I feel pretty bad!
Still, it was nice to catch up with some friends.

x

Wednesday, 22 August 2007

Never Forget!

Guess what musical I've been working on!
Yes, Take That the musical has just hit Manchester and I'm dressing on it for two weeks.
I was slightly worried I'd hate it because I'm a HUGE Take That fan, but...

Oh my God! It's BRILLIANT!
It's just a fun show. The audience are loving it. I love feel-good shows.

I'm dressing the girlies - who are absolutely lovely. We opened last night and I was slightly worried becasue there are LOADS of costume changes. I actually don't stop throughout the whole show.
I have to say that the best bit is when there's rain on the stage, it looks amazing - and there's fire - but the rain is brilliant. I'm desperate to have a go in it! Not so brilliant when we have to catch all of the wet clothes when they come off!

Mr Sally is the stage manager of the theatre and he's worked LONG hours this week, I think it's been a nightmare to get ready in time. I did manage to have a groove at the side of the stage with him last night for the Never Forget Mega-mix... I say with him, I grooved and he shook his head in shame!

Anyway, if you get chance to see it before it goes in to the West End - definitely go.
It's very much like 'Oh What a Night,' if any of you have seen that!
xx


London

Although I always feel stressed when I travel to London, after meeting with my agent(!) I did actually have a lovely time.
Their office is based in Camden and I went and had a look around, it was lovely.
But here's two things that happened - one made me smile and one made me shudder...

Smile - I hadn't eaten because I was nervous about the day ahead so by 2pm I had to get some food. I went to Burger King and sat down with my meal and I glanced over at a girl sat near the window. She was eating crackers and salad... in the middle of Burger King! She hadn't bought any chips to go with it or a drink. Just sat happy with her packed lunch of crackers and salad!

Shudder - On the train back from London, I was sat near a lady who ate non-stop for two hours - crisps, sandwich, chocolate cake, coffee... I mean her bag of treats never stopped rustling. BUT as we were getting closer to home she got her nail clippers out of her bag and cut her nails. Nails were flying all over the carpet and she just left them. And she left all of her rubbish in her seat when she got off... some people!

Sorry, slightly pointless blog - but just had to share it with someone!
x

Did I tell you I have an agent...

I was going to blog more about my trip to London and news of my agent (sorry, can't stop saying it!) on Monday night but I was so tired from the trip, I had a bath and went to bed.

I had a lovely meeting on Monday with Watson, Little. They're excited about my book. It's for girls aged 8-12. It's to be a series of books but I can't tell you the series title yet becasue I have to change it - it's already a trademark for something else, which I've only just realised!
The first book of the series is called 'Geek to Unique.'

After three years of rejection letters, I'm just so happy. And it was so wonderful to hear somebody being just as excited about my book.
The plan is to do lots of revisions to make it sparkle as much as it possibly can, we're aiming for mid Sep to send it out to publishers.

I'm a happy lady!
x

Monday, 20 August 2007

Finally...

I GOT AN AGENT!!!!!!









Saturday, 18 August 2007

Say Cheese!

How do you like my new author photo?

Hm, I'm not sure. It's the best of a bad bunch! I hate having my photo taken - well actually I don't mind when I'm out with friends or on holiday, it's just photo's like this where you have to be serious, I just feel stupid posing for them.

I had a great session in the library the other day, I got loads done and time flew by.
Thursday, Mr Sally had the day off work so it was nice to have the day with him. (He's a stage manager of a theatre and is always at work!) I didn't get much done on Thu.
Yesterday I had to make him go to the gym - just so I could have some peace and quiet, he's off again today and I'm hoping he's going to pop along to the gym again later.

I'm getting ready to go to London on Monday. I'm having a meeting with a possible agent about my teenage book. I've been trying to get an agent for 3 years. I wrote a commercial fiction novel -which in the three years of rejections has gone through lots of changes. My teenage novel is something I'm so excited about, and finally someone is interested. I'm so nervous.

I'm nervous because:
a) I hate having to go to London. The tube confuses me and it's sooo busy!

b)This could be the start of something great, and I don't want to get excited until it happens!

Wish me luck.

X

Wednesday, 15 August 2007

Cabin Fever

I've got to get out of the house. Honestly, I'm really strict with myself when it comes to writing, I just can't stop eating! I can't believe the amount of weight I've put on since my play!
Half the time I'm not even hungy, I just eat it because it's there!

So today I got up mega early to get a lift in to Manchester with Mr Sally. After checking my emails and blogging in the Internet cafe, I'll be spending the rest of the day in the library writing, and I'll be nowhere near chocolate bars and crisps!
Plus, I think it's good to get out of the house once in a while, a change of scenery is just what I need.

x

Tuesday, 14 August 2007

HELP!

Does anyone have any idea how author photos should look? As I'm still waiting for money off my play, I can't afford to get a photographer to take them, and I need some doing.
It will have to be a case of Mr Sally and the digital camera this weekend. Any ideas for good shots?

Cheers!
X

The things you find...

I have a cupboard under the TV and it holds all of my reference books, notepads, stationary - basically anything to do with writing.
I decided yesterday to have a clear out and boy was it eventful.
Amongst everything I came across a really old notepad from years ago; and it was full of character descriptions and ideas for sitcoms and sketches. I totally forgot I had it and finding it was like winning the lottery!
I used to have a rubbish job, doing telesales for a catalogue company. I hated it with a passion and the only thing that kept me going was writing in the newly found notepad between calls.
My bosses hated me writing at my desk, but I hated the job so much I didn't care, I couldn't have got through the tedious hours without it!

I'm still busy doing character work and plotting for my screenplay. It has the working title 'Valley Kids.' I'm not sure of it yet.
When I'm writing my books or my plays - I really enjoy creating the title, but for some reason with my screenplay I'm really struggling. It could be the fact that I'm still working on the plot. Maybe once it's all planned a title will come to me.

x

Monday, 13 August 2007

Re-Charged

Not blogged for a few days because my weekend was jam-packed!
Friday my holiday cheque finally cleared and I dashed around town for an outfit to my friends wedding party - Considering it was a rushed job, I didn't do too badly!






Me and the beautiful bride Joanne, she looked absolutely stunning.







I did get a bit tipsy at the party and I had a lovely night with Mr Sally. Even if he did go slightly pale when I mentioned getting married!!!

On Saturday we packed the car up and drove to sunny Wales to see my parents. As usual we were well fed by my mum and well humoured by my dad.

We drove back last night, I always get upset when we leave, wished they lived closer. They are thinking of moving closer to me, so fingers crossed.

I finished reading Melissa Nathan's 'Persuading Annie' and what a brilliant, brilliant book - well written, so funny and lots of great twists and turns in the plot. The characters are all well rounded too, she was a fantastic author, and I know I've said it before but it's such a tragedy she's no longer with us.

I bought a book today whilst out shopping for food in Asda! I bought Phillipa Ashley's 'Decent Exposure.' It looks brilliant.

This is the first Little Black Dress book I've read, which is bad because there are loads of them out now and they all look great fun, I shall have to collect them slowly!
On the writing side of things, my batteries are re-charged and I'm ready to get back in to it. I have two things on the go at the moment. I have my screenplay which as of yet has no title and also my third play, which is called 'Jumble.'
Full systems go!!

X

Thursday, 9 August 2007

Book-fest!

After a mad time of writing, producing and performing my play and then also doing re-writes to my teen novel and sending it off; it's been so nice to sit and relax with a book. I'm halfway through Persuading Annie, I got stuck in to it yesterday and I'm really enjoing it.





Once my holiday pay cheque clears tomorrow (yes, it's tomorrow.) I'll be purchasing the following...







You had me at halo - by Amanda Ashby










Since I Don't Have You - By Louise Candlish











And, I'm now starting to think about the holiday reads to take away with me when I go on hols... Anybody know of any good holiday reads out at the moment?
x


Wednesday, 8 August 2007

If you want something doing...

I'm so annoyed!
My play was recently selected to be part of a great festival in Manchester. The festival is a great yearly showcase for writers and actors.
I worked my botty off promoting my play and inviting everyone within the industry I could think of. One of the invites was for a great theatre in Manchester, a theatre that looks out for new writers and commissions work, so you can imagine how delighted I was that two lovely ladies from the writing department wanted to come to the play and were even bringing their husbands.
The plays been and gone and I never heard from them, so I assumed they must of hated it. Anyway, today I decided to send them an email to see if they had any interest in reading my new play and I got a reply instantly.
They came to my play, got slightly lost in the building and by the time they found the actual room the play had just started and the FOH girl said because it had started they couldn't go in!!!!!!!
WHAT??!!!
I made a point of telling FOH at every performance that late comers were allowed in at any time, I didn't mind.
I can't believe they turned these people away.
She said they left a message for me with the FOH girls - WHICH I NEVER GOT!
She said she's heard some good stuff about my play and my writing, which is lovely - but not what I wanted.
I wanted this theatre to see my work, forget everyone else, I was absolutely thrilled they were coming.
Sorry to vent! I'm just so mad.
Anyway, I guess if anything we've built a nice relationship (even if they are yet to see my work)and they've put me on the list to be informed of any commissions etc.

I'm just off to buy a paper bag and then I'll be in a corner somewhere breathing in to it quite heavily!

The Starving Writer

Okay, so I'm not starving and being slightly dramatic. But I've just had a morning to tip me over the edge.
You see, my holiday pay cheque to see me through the summer hols should have cleared today - my cheques, when paid in on a Satuday always clear by Wednesday.
So I got up really early so that I could get a lift in to town with Mr Sally - I almost ran to the shops (well I haven't been shopping for ages.)
My friend is getting married on Friday and I was planning on spending a little bit of money to get a nice outfit...
But - you've guessed it - the bloody thing hasn't cleared. Why? I don't know. Other than someone above is enjoying testing me and laughing at me in the process.
My day of shopping ruined!
And I had to go to Mr Sally's work for some money for my bus fare home, which of course he gave me, but not without adding "you shouldn't rely on cheques clearing, you should alway have enough just incase. You're just really bad with money."
"No I'm not." I replied. "I just never have much of it."
"Sal." He said with a smile. "It's supposed to last you through the summer and you were about to spend it on a new outfit."
"That's because I have nothing to wear for the wedding."
"You have a million things to wear. It's not like anyone will know it's not new."
"I'll know." I said.
Men, honestly, don't have a clue!
So I got the bus home, but got the one that drops me off miles away from my house! Put a washing load on, and then realised I had trapped the string from the bag that holds the tablets in the door and it was too late, the wash started and just flooded the kitchen floor!!! AGH!

*** BREATHE BREATHE ***

I'm waiting to see if I made any money off my play - we should hopefully find out next week. And Mr Sally has just offered me 2 weeks dressing work on Take That the Musical!
Now, I'm the BIGGEST Take That fan. And knowing Take That aren't happy with this show, I wasn't going to work on it. (Which is pathetic of me!) But I need the money and dressing is good money, so I've said yes. I think it opens on the 21st! At least I can sing along to the songs!! JOKE. If there's a spare moment when I'm dressing, you can usually find me at the side of the stage with a book and a mini torch!

Speaking of books, I really got in to 'Persuading Annie' by Melissa Nathan on my bus journey home. I'm just waiting for the sun to hit the patio in my back garden and I'll be out there relaxing with my book today.

And as for yesterday - I decided to clean my car inside and out. When I went to switch on the hose pipe, the thing snapped off the tap and I got soaked in cold water!!
I think I'm just having one of those weeks!

Tuesday, 7 August 2007

Yeah...

Ok, I'm back on track.
I woke up this morning feeling GREAT.

A day of writing is ahead of me and I'm excited to start. I started doing some character work for my screenplay last night and it's coming along.

I am not, I repeat not going swimming today!!

X

Monday, 6 August 2007

So un-inspired...

I don't know what's up with me today. I've dwindled my day and not got anything done, which isn't like me.
I went swimming at 12pm - I thought a good swim would be a perfect place to think about plots and characters for my screenplay.
I did not expect to be swimming amongst loads of old people, nothing wrong with that, except I spent half my time being overly polite, letting them past and trying not to splash them.
Then this guy jumps in, and you'd honestly think he was training for the Olympics the way he was going. He didn't stop for so much as a bit of breath once. He was annoying!
Just the fact half the pool has been taken away to make a fast lane for people like him, yet he stayed with us slow coaches, splashing everyone and not caring who he pushed past.
So I didn't get much thinking done because I was too busy being annoyed!

I've come home and read the Guardian with a chocolate eclaire (why not?) and now just spent AGES on the net trying to find a gym with a swimming pool near my house. Not had any luck, I'm sure there will be one. I'd join the one Mr Sally goes to, but it's in Manchester and there's no point joining it over the summer when I'm up in the hills being a writer.

Right, I have two hours before I have to make tea for his Lordship... Productive time me- thinks. I need to make something of my day!

Talking of inspiration, or lack of it. The following photos have inspired my screenplay and I'll explain once I have it all figured out in my head!

















Sunday, 5 August 2007

Screenplays and stuff

Today Mr Sally treated me to a book called -

How Not to Write a Screenplay: 101 Common Mistakes Most Screenwriters Make by Denny Martin Flinn

As my next project is my screenplay, and because I'm obsessed with reading good reference books, I'm excited to read it!

I've just had a flick through and it looks great. It doesn't tell you how to write a good screenplay, it just shows you how to avoid making general mistakes.


I've just noticed a competition on the BBC Writers Room website - it involves writing a screenplay for Tony Jordan's production company, Red Planet Pictures Limited.


I'm looking forward to a week of writing. I love having the summer off work, I can concentrate on writing and doing something I love. I don't want to go back in September!

I went to a great discussion with the Arts Council a couple of weeks ago and I'm thinking of applying for funding.


I'm just watching Columbo. It's such a brilliant programme. Ok, some of it is a bit eighties, but it's still great to watch. Every episode always has great characters and a great plot. And I think I'm slightly in love with Mr Columbo himself, in a very strange way. He's just brilliant.

Let the SUN SHINE!!!!!

Woo-hoo!

Today has been HOT, HOT, HOT!

Mr Sally and I went in to Manchester, he went to the gym and I went shopping.
I then treated myself to a lager shandy whilst sitting in the sun with the Sunday papers.

Perfect.

We did a bit of shopping then after a Mr Whippy, we went home.

Ah, doesn't everything seem great when the sun's shining?!

Saturday, 4 August 2007

Fit - Fit - Fit...

Well, kind of.

Mr Sally and I got up today and headed for the gym. I went swimming whilst he did weights and running and all the other boring things associated with gyms!

Anyway, it's the first time I've been swimming since our holiday last year, and I'm surprised how fit I still am. I swam for just under an hour and feel great!
Ok, not really great, I'm shattered and starving...

We're treating ourselves to a take-away tonight - well, I think we deserve it!

He's going tomorrow - but there are no more free passes for me and I refuse to spend £40 a month just to go swimming!
So, I'm going to go shopping for an outfit for my friends wedding next week and maybe read the sunday papers with a starbucks!

I'll be going swimming to my local pool all next week though... I will get in to shape!!

Friday, 3 August 2007

Melissa Nathan



For those of you who have not had the pleasure of reading any of Melissa Nathan's books, Persuading Annie came out this week.






Melissa sadly passed away last year after battling with cancer, aged just 37. She is saved by her husband and her baby boy Sam.
Melissa was such a FANTASTIC author. Mixing comedy with romance so well.

The Learning Curve, The Waitress and The Nanny were all brilliant books and I'm delighted one of her earlier books Persuding Annie has been re-printed.

I bought this book yesterday and I'm honestly looking forward to reading it. I'm going to start it tonight!

If you haven't read any of her books, go to the book shop/library now and get a copy - they're brilliant,

X

New Me

Right,

I thought this year Mr Sally and I weren't going on holiday due to us not being able to afford it, even though I bought 6 new bikini's just in case!


Then last week he said to my friend that we would probably still go away, just not as expensive as last year, probably Portugal or somewhere...

So I'm like, 'Oh, are we going away?'

He said "yeah, we should try to."


So I'm thinking before Christmas, because even though I'm on Summer hols from work, he's really busy at the theatre.


Last night I just happened to ask him when he was thinking we should go away (which I should have asked last week) and he said, "the beginning of September!!"


WHAT!


So that gives me just under 4 weeks to get my bikini body back.


Oh MY GOD!


Why didn't we discuss this sooner?!

Oh yeah, 'cause I was busy with my play!


DAMN!


So he's joined a gym and he's been going to it all week. I HATE gym's. They've given him some passes to let me in for free and so guess where we're going tomorrow?

Think of the holiday, think of the holiday...


At least it's quite a posh one with a lovely pool. I'll just go swimming!

Infact, all next week I'll be swimming at my local pool.

Swimming's about the only thing I like, and dancing.

Since I gave up dancing, I feel like I've rebelled against any excersise!

I will fit in to my 6 bikinis... I will fit in to my 6 bikinis...


De-Junk!

Today was supposed to be a 'Sally' day - meaning I was going to sit around the house and read and do some planning of my next bit of work, but I couldn't rest until the house was tidy.


Mr Sally and I live in a lovely house and it's always tidy, but we've been so busy for the past couple of weeks, we haven't had time for a good clean up and the ironing pile was getting higher!


So, I've ironed - whilst watching Jeremy 'listen to me sunny-jim' Kyle and then cleaned the whole house from top to bottom, which I hate!

But now it's done I feel a lot better.



I've even donated loads of clothes to the local charity shop today and I've started selling bits on ebay. I quite like de-junking.

Mr Sally hates clutter and I do tend to hoard things... trouble is, I've got rid of that much I don't know if I've got anything to wear!
I guess I'll just have to go shopping!
X

Word of warning...

Boys look away!

Girls, never - ever get a bikini wax when the beautician has worked through her lunch and is rushing to have a coffee break.

Jeez!

I've been going for years, and I swear today was the most traumatic experience of my life! I think I would have preferred a smear test!

Sorry to blog about something so personal, but I'm just a little overwhelmed by the whole experience of a crazed woman, who's mind was clearly not on the job!

And she expected a tip, which she did not get!
Her tip money went on some cream cakes for me - I think I deserved them!
X

Nothing Like A Deadline!

Woweee, I feel good!!

I'm currently writing a teenage series of books called 'Snog, Blogs & Funky Friends' and the first installement was requested to be read in full by a really good agent, which is obvioulsy exciting... I said I'd have it to her by the end of this week, and when I re-read it on Monday, I wasn't happy with the ending.
So in the space of 3 days I sat at my computer and edited like MAD!
I re-wrote just under 13,000 words! Phew.

I printed the whole book yesterday, which took me just over 2 hours! Although I actually hate the printing bit, it is quite satisfying seeing it on paper.
By the time I posted it yesterday afternoon, I was absolutely shattered!

Fingers crossed she likes it!
X
 
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