The Downside of Facebook and How Tea Helps.

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I’ve been spending the past few months shut up in my little writing room getting down the thriller that suddenly came to me one night about four months ago. Now, I really didn’t need this thriller popping into my head when it did. I’d already started a lovely romantic comedy with a difference. Then along comes this story, the whole complete story with twist and everything. So, what is a girl to do? So I’ve been trying to write two novels at once. Now, I don’t care what anyone else says, but writing two novels at the same time is very difficult especially when the genres are so different.

I’ve also been trying to study and find time for my new crafting hobby of knitting and crochet. This has of course meant that Facebook and other social media have taken a back seat in my life. So forgive me if I haven’t been getting back to you on those as quickly as normal. There’s something about Facebook, however, that really brings out the negative in me. I know I’ve talked about this before. But reading about other people’s lives and how well they are doing, really affects me. I can’t help feeling that maybe I’m not doing as well. That perhaps my writing isn’t so great compared to other writers. Then there are those that talk about how well their books are doing. I’m pleased for anyone who does well. But I always feel like I am lacking in some way. People seem so confident on Facebook whereas I am far from confident. I know I’m not the only one who feels this way about Facebook. Then there are the selfie photos of other friends looking slim and fantastic whereas I feel frumpy, overweight and unattractive. It becomes too much some days. I find my time on Instagram is much nicer. So do feel free to join me on there. It doesn’t seem to affect me in the same way. There is also this odd thing of when people suddenly unfriend you. You spend days wondering why. But I’ve finally come to the conclusion that these people weren’t my friends anyway. I had a few uncomfortable incidents on Facebook when my account was hacked and temporarily deactivated and people automatically assumed I had unfriended them. I don’t unfriend people. I unfollow if the posts unsettle me but I don’t unfriend. Facebook unsettles my confidence. I like to hear if it unsettles yours too and if so why you stay on it? I stay to promote my books really. But I much prefer Instagram.  I also find there are misleading news stories and manipulated images which I now have to tell myself are not always what they seem. Posts to share if you care about someone with cancer which I find disturbing because they hint if I don’t share them then I can’t care about people with cancer or any other debilitating illness which is completely untrue. Finally the chain letters that come via Facebook which I feel bad about if I don’t send out to 15 friends. I seriously don’t have the time and I get quite a lot of these. So when I read this article about how Facebook can affect your mood, I could very much relate. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/2017/12/15/facebook-admits-spending-time-social-media-can-make-feel-worse/

So, back to books and the two new ones which will be coming out very soon. The romantic comedy is lovely and I have so much enjoyed writing it. The two main characters will be making an appearance on Facebook in the next few months. So, look out for that. I will have a cover reveal too and giveaways. So don’t miss them. Meanwhile you can buy my two other thrillers on Amazon.

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The new thriller I am very excited about. I’ve loved writing this one. I think it is far better than ‘Remember Me’ or ‘Secrets and Lies.’ The cover reveal for the new thriller will be coming very soon. There will also be giveaways. So check the links below to connect with me and make sure your eyes are peeled so you can take part.

So, tell me your feelings about Facebook. Do you find it false? Do you think it is all Smoke and Mirrors? Is it a good or bad thing?

Okay, that’s my little rant over.

Finally I’d like to talk tea. Are you a tea drinker? Do you have a favourite tea? If so what is it? I have a new tea cup and I love it.

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I’m tea addicted. I love pretty mugs, pretty teapots and different teas. I love The Tea Experience and Jollybrew tea company and of course Wittards. I love tea leaves. There is nothing like a proper pot of tea.

My favourites at the moment are ‘Angel Grey’ which I’m telling everyone about and getting them to try. It’s the most amazing tea. It’s by The Tea Experience and is a subtle combination of black tea, orange slices and rose petals with a dash of bergamot and natural flavouring. You can get a trial size here

I also love Lady Grey by Twinings which is a beautiful tea. A slightly orange twang to this one. 124455lady_grey

 

Another favourite of mine is White Rose tea. This is a white tea by T2 Tea. This is a glorious white tea. You must try it. It is heaven in a teacup. If you have a favourite tea, do tell me about it.

I look forward to sharing the new books with you in the next few months and hearing about your favourite teas.

Lots of love

Lynda

x

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The downside of Facebook & other much nicer things!

HUNTERAt last I’ve found time to write a blog posting. The days do rush by don’t they? I can’t believe that I’m thinking about Christmas already.

I’ve been quiet for one reason and that is I’ve been engrossed in writing a new novel. I’m really excited to talk about it, so more on that later.

I’ve also discovered a new hobby. But first I want to talk about social networking and how I feel about it at the moment. I’ve been on Facebook for a long time and always enjoyed the interaction I got on there, but recently I’ve become very disillusioned with it. There have been several occasions where I have been extremely upset by what I’ve seen on there. A few weeks ago I scrolled through my newsfeed just before going to bed and a horrific photo of animals being abused was thrust into my face. I was distressed beyond words and couldn’t sleep that night for thinking about it. I couldn’t even face going back to report it because it meant I would have to see it again. I began to be afraid to scroll through my newsfeed for what I might see. So, since then I have barely been on FB. I post a few things and that’s it really. So, if you are on FB and I haven’t been commenting or wishing people a happy birthday, then that’s why. I’m sure I’m not the only one who finds these kind of photos distressing. I’ve tried to understand why people post them. I’m sure it is to raise awareness. But I am aware. I know these things go on. I know what charities to support. I know bad things happen. I’m aware children get abused as well as animals. I just don’t need graphic photos to hammer it home. So, for me, FB is not somewhere I want to be that much. If you want to follow me and I hope you do then you can find me on Instagram under Lynda Renham. It is a far nicer place I find. I’m also on Twitter but not so much. But I’m also here at the blog. So feel free to join me. Do let me know your feelings about distressing pictures on FB. I’d like to hear your feelings.

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Now, onto something else, something much nicer. In between writing I also discovered the fabulous art of crochet and I am addicted. So much so, that in the next few weeks I hope to set up my crochet and knitting blog. It will be dedicated to just crochet and all the hand crafts that are such fun to do. It will focus on my crochet journey. So, keep an eye out. I’m in love with this hobby. It’s so calming and relaxing and makes you feel so calm. If you’re stressed in any way then I would recommend it. I taught myself by watching You Tube videos and I’ll be recommending many of those in my new crochet blog. I started last December and have so far made two blankets, a shawl, and lots of squares which I plan to join together. I also made a cushion cover and am currently working on another blanket for a friend. I’ve found a renewed interest in knitting and have made a teddy bear and am working on a shawl. It’s fabulous. I have bought numerous books and will share those on my new blog too. If you’re into any craft then please let me know. I’ll be sharing my new blog posts on FB, Twitter and Instagram. I hope you’ll join me when I do. There are CAL’s  (crochet alongs) which I hope to take part in too and I’m looking forward to going to some yarn festivals too. As you can see I am truly hooked (so to speak) I hope I have fired some of you into looking into this wonderful, calming craft. It’s not hard once you get the hang of it.

I’ve left the best for last. Coming on the 12th September is my new novel ‘Hunters Moon’

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It’s a psychological thriller and I so hope you enjoy it. It has been a long time in the writing. I’ve enjoyed it but I’ve also decided that the next book will be much lighter and funnier than the previous two. Thank you so much to all those that bought ‘Remember Me’ It did exceptionally well, especially in the USA. So well in fact that it is coming out as an audio book next month. I will post links when I have them. Also ‘Perfect Weddings’ is coming out as an audio book too and should be available for Christmas, I hope.

Here’s a little about the new novel ‘Hunters Moon’

‘Hunters Moon, set in the little English village of Penlyn, promises to be the dream home for Flora and Adam McIntosh. Adam’s career in politics has taken a turn for the better and the only thing left to complete the couple’s happiness is a baby. Flora believes the new home will help her overcome a recent miscarriage but she soon realises the house is not all it seems. What are the villagers of Penlyn hiding and does Hunters Moon hold a dark secret? Flora soon finds herself entrapped in a web of deceit with no one to turn to. Her dream home becomes her nightmare as Flora fears for her life.’

I’m very excited and can’t wait to share this with you. I hope you enjoy it.

Well that’s it until next time. I hope I hear from you.

Much love

Lynda

x

When the buggers try to shut you up

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Ten years ago or more I created a group named Childless Support. I created the group to support women, like myself, who could not have children. I’m known for my activism in this subject as there are many articles written by, or about me, concerning my childlessness and the fact that I founded the group, which now has over 1,000 members. I have spoken on radio and to the media on the subject. However, seven years ago I stepped back from the group after feeling I had given all I could. I did stay in the group but kept a low profile. The past year I have been saddened at how the group has declined. The bitterness and division within it is not something I ever encouraged. I have now been driven to publicly distance myself from the group, as I do not want to be connected in any way with the group it has become. I created a group that supported women who could not have children. It was for women who were childless not by choice. There are women who choose to be childless (childless by choice) and it was always clear that Childless Support was not a group for them. However, I never encouraged bitterness or negativity towards women who could have children or towards women who chose not to have children.  The group I ran was happy for a woman if she finally managed to conceive. The group was a positive one, helping women to cope with their isolation of being childless in a positive way. It discouraged bitterness and bad feeling towards women who could have children and focused on moving forward and finding ways of living a life without children. We also accepted that for many this was an extremely difficult thing to do and supported them as much as possible in their struggle. We never ever excluded a woman who was still trying to conceive. I only requested that if a woman should become pregnant that she kindly left and that we wished her all the best. Many of these women I stayed in contact with.

Not anymore it seems. The groups’ admins have changed all that and seem very threatened by me. So much so that as soon as I state an opinion I am shot down. I have now been blocked from the group I once founded, supposedly, for being negative and rude. I was actually voicing valid points and emphasising what a support group is supposed to do. The admins had changed the criteria and were now saying that women who were TTC (Trying to conceive) were now no longer welcome. I’m not sure how these criteria can be enforced. Does this mean the woman should not have unprotected sex or does it mean she should not be having fertility treatment? My argument was that to change a group’s ethos in this way, clearly to please some, (I was informed it was for the masses) would mean excluding women who were already members. That didn’t seem fair to me. While some women were rude to TTC women during this discussion, it seemed I was the only one who was blocked. The administrator who was clearly threatened by me, made comments to me and then blocked me before I could respond. She did the same again when I attempted to email her to explain my points and to also remind her that I had offered to help with the group but that she had not responded to my message. She responded rudely by telling me how rude and negative I was and before I could respond, again blocked me. I previously argued that members posting Memes with nasty comments about women with children was offensive and that as a member I was distressed to see it. Again I was told if I was not happy with the group I could leave. Does this sound like a support group or a ‘I hate women trying for babies and women who have babies’ group’?

I have since had numerous emails from members telling me how upset they are with the group. So, I have now taken the sad step of publicly distancing myself from it. This is NOT the group I created but something completely different. If it is the group for you then fair enough. I just need to state clearly I am not connected with it at all!

I hope to start a new group in the near future.

So, as I couldn’t argue the criteria on Facebook I thought I would argue it on my blog. If you think it makes sense then I take my hat off to you. I did not write the following. The guidelines that I wrote for this group were removed, which I have no argument with. Like I said, I’m not connected with this group at all.

Here are their guidelines with my thoughts in brackets.

The pain of being childless is Un-explainable. (Strange wording. I would have said unbearable. I certainly can explain my feelings) This is a support group to help people get through the pain of being childless. To help support, listen and vent to each other as we journey through our lives being Childless.

This is not a group for people that have had biological children.  ( I would think that was obvious)
This is not a group for those who chose to not have children.  (Correct wording is childless by choice)

Please respect this group is for those of us who cannot have children, without making a choice. (Correct phrasing is childless not by choice)

Our group is not a fertility group.

This is also NOT a TTC Trying to Conceive Group  (Terribly unfair. A high percentage of childless not by choice women never give up hope of having a child. Why should they be excluded?)

Please do not request to join unless you cannot have children & need support coping with that. If this isn’t the case, or you get it by mistake, you will be removed. (Get what by mistake?) This is an exclusive group for childless not by choice individuals/couples. Male and female welcome.

****Wanting to join us? (why are there stars?) Send us a request!  (Why is there an exclamation mark) You’ll receive an email from Mel Gray who is an Admin once we receive your reply, we’ll approve your request :)Please check for email in your others folder. If I do not receive a response from the email within 14 days I will delete your request. (What if you go on holiday and don’t have access to the internet. Your bad luck I guess)

The good thing about this response is that this time if anyone from the group wants to respond then I have the power to allow their comments to be published or as the admins seem to enjoy doing, blocking them.

*Fudge Berries and Frog’s Knickers Competition*

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To celebrate the release of ‘Fudge Berries and Frog’s Knickers’ next Friday the 23rd Jan, we have a fab competition on my Facebook author page. It is open to anyone who wishes to take part. I’ve published some of the entries. Good luck. Don’t forget you can order the paperback now! Go here.

THE COMPETITION

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Here’s the competition. A bit different to those I usually have. There will be several winners so do take part.
It’s easy. With this post I’ve posted the book cover for ‘Fudge Berries and Frog’s Knickers’ To take part in the competition all you need to do is take the picture and make a fab picture with it of your own. I’ve attached one I’ve done using http://photofunia.com/ There are many other sites you can find on Google or you can do your own using a photo programme. You can post as many pictures as you like on Twitter and Facebook. Just be sure to mention me on twitter @lyndarenham and share with me on Facebook so I know what you’ve done and post it on here the author page. Each photo you do gets you a token to go into my draw. The more pictures you do the more tokens you get and the higher the chance of being drawn from the hat. I have pens, key rings, mug and signed books to give away. You can start now but remember to tell everyone in your posts that the book is out on 23rd Jan. If you post after that make sure you mention that the book is now available. The competition is open until my birthday on the 10 February. Good luck. I can’t wait to see your photos. If you’re not on Facebook or Twitter, simply send them to me at lynda@renham.co.uk and I will post them and pop a token into the draw for you.

Can’t wait to see your ideas.

Much love

Lynda

xx

 

FAB PRIZES FOR VALENTINE’S DAY (Check it out)

FAB PRIZES FOR VALENTINE'S DAY (Check it out)

On Friday 14th Feb, Valentine’s Day you can win yourself one of these. All you’ll need is a copy of the kindle version of ‘It Had to Be You’ I’m adding a hot chocolate sachet, so you can enjoy reading your book. The questions will be a place, a thing, or a food mentioned in the book. So you will a need a copy to enter.
Don’t worry there will be more in March when the paperback is released. Stay tuned. I’ll be setting the question on Friday the 14th Feb here and also on my blog.

Lynda xx

 

Mine’s An Eggnog (a humorous look at Christmas and warning: tits are mentioned)

 

 

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So that wonderful thing called Christmas is looming towards us. You can’t escape it. Radio presenters are already playing those ‘throw up into your handbag’ Christmas songs, although thankfully most of them banned Cliff Richard.

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I’m scared to turn the radio on. Not that I hate Christmas or anything it’s just all that stuff that goes with it. If you’re organised like me then you’ll be turning the house upside down trying to find those sodding Christmas cards you bought for half price last year along with that cheap roll of Christmas wrapping paper. Not to mention the sellotape and scissors. Where do they hide themselves at Christmas? The continuing conversation in our house when Christmas wrapping is ‘Do you have the sellotape? What happened to the scissors?’ Mind you, they’re not needed much these days are they? When I was a kid I got presents. What happened to that? When did presents get replaced by money and vouchers? My sister insists on giving us a cheque each for twenty five quid and when asking what they would like (wrong thing to do by the way. Never ask what someone what they would like for Christmas because you’ll always get the ‘Oh don’t get me anything,’ and should you take this literally … Yes, you’ve been there right? How many friends have you lost?) Anyway back to my sister who responds with ‘The kids prefer money and we’re sending you a cheque.’ So we end up giving them a cheque for twenty five quid each, plus another two for the kids of course. I’m not good at maths but even I know that doesn’t work out fair. I can’t help thinking it would be much easier if we just said ‘Go and treat yourself to something for twenty five quid and we’ll do likewise, saves on the postage sending the cheques.’  But of course we don’t do that do we because we wouldn’t go and treat ourselves to something for twenty five quid because it’s more sensible to put it towards the heating bill. So cheque exchange we continue to do. Although I can’t help feeling short changed somehow with us not having kids. Anyway, the fifty quid we’ll receive we’ll put towards the heating bill. Get my point?

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It’s the time of year when we sit in endless traffic queues trying to get into town and find ourselves in the same car park we always use only now it’s free. The barriers are up. Except you can’t get bloody parked can you? Not unless you get there at three in the morning. Then for some odd reason it is presumed we forget how to use the car park at Christmas as there are now bossy men telling us where and how to park. ‘Over there mate,’ they say pointing to an obvious space. It seems the powers that be deem us to be brain dead at this time of the year. Well we must be if we eat Brussels sprouts and drink hot wine. Do you ever drink hot wine any other time in your life? Precisely, but at Christmas you consume tons of the stuff don’t you? Not to mention that Eggnog stuff. When do you see that at any other time? When have you ever been in a pub and heard someone say Mine’s an Eggnog? I rest my case.egg

And why do we have to eat so much? It seems it isn’t Christmas if you don’t eat enough to make yourself sick.Do you know how much we spend at Christmas? No, I won’t tell you otherwise you may end up another Christmas statistic. Because, of course, it is that time of year when suicides rise apparently. It seems more people are prone to putting their head in the oven as opposed to a turkey. I’d do the same but it’s an induction one and I don’t think I’d achieve much. Think of the poor turkeys and pheasants though. It’s mass murder for them. Seriously it’s poultry genocide however you look at it. Still, don’t let me put you off yours.

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But Christmas is special isn’t it, and who does it fall on? Yes us women. There is just so much to do isn’t there?  No point sending the men out for the sprouts and stuffing is there? By the time they reach the supermarket they’they’ve forgotten why they’re there and they get side-tracked and of course their mobile phone is always out of signal. No best to do it all yourself. This probably means you end up in bed with a Christmas migraine on Boxing Day but at least everyone is having a good time right? And someone is bound to bring you up a turkey sandwich.Then there is the tree. That’s a project on its own isn’t it? I mean, when else would you have a tree sticking out of the back of your car and no one bats an eyelid? And when else would you move your whole house around so you can put a tree in it? Then there is the whole debate of where to put the sodding thing so the cat won’t constantly jump up to catch the baubles while at the same time having it in prime position. By the time ’you’ve done all this and managed to hide the wiring of the tree lights you’ve got pine needles every bloody where, on the floor, on your jumper, under your jumper and I don’t know about you but I certainly had a few stuck in my tits. Also have you noticed how at Christmas you suddenly discover more friends? Where did they come from? Christmas cards drop through the door from people I barely know, and they’re all signed lots of love. Every week I have to buy more cards to keep up with these people. I’m now realising that Christmas cards are a bit like Facebook Friends. Let’s see how many we can get. Then all our other friends (the real ones) will see how popular we are. That’s mature right?

 

Seriously, when else would you wear a silly hat while you’re eating dinner and feel it is perfectly normal, while reading out cheesy jokes from your crackers? That’s another thing have you seen the price of bloody crackers? If you want your guests to get a decent little something from the cracker these days you have to take out a bank loan. I bet the banks love Christmas. You can almost see them rubbing their hands in November can’t you, totting up their Christmas bonus no doubt. The thing I find most worrying is how we are all so afraid to be alone at Christmas. You have to be with someone or have someone come to you. I’m just as guilty of this that I spend most of November trying to sort out where we will go or who will come to us that I eventually have too many invites and everything gets more complicated as I untangle myself from it.

 

But best of all, we break all the rules don’t we? We drink to excess, eat to excess and talk about the after Christmas diet, which I don’t think anyone ever starts do they? Finally, the best part about Christmas where rules really are broken are with the children. Ask little Johnny what he did today in town.

 

‘I saw Santa, sat on his lap and told him where I lived and what presents I wanted.’

 

Bloody marvellous. No one has a clue who the guy in the Santa outfit actually is right? He could be your local paedophile on a protection list. Even the employer at the store wouldn’t know.  All year we tell our kids not to talk to strangers but at Christmas what do we do… we actually take them to see a stranger and encourage them to talk to him and even allow them to sit on his lap. So remember kids, as long as the stranger is wearing a costume of sorts, calls himself Santa and says he will go up your chimney it’s perfectly okay to chat to him and sit on his lap. I mean, why not, it’s Christmas after all.

Picture 370Dedicated to my lovely dad who loved Christmas and dressed as Santa for his grandchildren every year.