Getting ready for…

For CCThis post is by Nancy Jardine

I will…in a minute!

No NaNoWriMo for me this November, though I did make myself a simple target FINISH THE WIP. The one that’s been going on for months now. I’ve added around twenty thousand words, and completely changed the whole ending, which has also meant revisions to lots of other bits in the plot. I’ve now made so many versions of the story I might change the title to ‘The Umpteenth Version of My Time – Travel Adventure’. I could have been around the universe and back – it’s taken me that long. I’m desperate to type ‘the End’ and have it as my next year’s novel, but what’s stopping me from completing it?Nov promotional poster Nancy Jardine

I’m a well- practised procrastinator. I spend lots of time doing marketing tasks that should take me only a little while, but I really like dipping out from my writing to do things like make a new advertising poster.

Of course, says I, I’ll hold the baby or play with the toddler (my irresistible grandchildren) and that’s concentration zapped again. I won’t go into our serious daily domestics but an 8 month old and 3 year old seem to create such a huge amount of laundry, and other sundry mess, not to mention that it’s feeding time at the zoo all day long. (**insert two big smiley faces here **) – Concentration out of the window!

And it’s so easy to get sidetracked by something simple like a new item dug up from my back garden, which is now the building site for the new house for my daughter and her family – hence them living with us 24/7 since February 2014.

First rip out of plants
First rip out of plants

The immense building delays now mean the house won’t be ready till summer of next year since foundations can’t be done till after the winter- and you can imagine a very flexible schedule on that one.

However, building warrants demand that the plot has exploratory holes dug for drainage inspections. This week’s exploration was an interesting one – the site engineer had to be sure that the Early Nineteenth Century Aberdeenshire Canal hadn’t run right through my garden.

Really? I knew only a little bit about the canal, knew it had been near my house…but not in my garden! My house was built in 1820; the cellar can be a wee bit damp at times…but surely not because of a canal?

Naturally, I had to know a bit more about the ill-fated canal that was only used as a transport waterway for a relatively short time, given the excavation that was done to create it. Opened in 1805, it was a spectacular failure when many engineering projects of the era were fantastic successes. There’s some information in this article


but my local library has some original documents that are incredible primary sources. Sadly, by 1845, the Aberdeenshire Canal was deemed an unnecessary item. A lot of the canal bed was filled in or re-used for the first railway line track that ran through my village. I’ve only dipped the surface regarding the research, but do want to find out a lot more about it for another time-travel adventure that’s ‘sort of forming’ in my scattershot mind.

Another result of the exploration this week is that even more research popped up and waved itself in my face.

Veno's Cough Bottle - Nancy Jardine
Veno’s Cough Bottle – Nancy Jardine

This bottle came to the surface completely intact from that little soil turn over on Wednesday morning. It’s not the first bottle in my collection of ‘dug up items’  but this one is in excellent condition.

Veno’s Lightning Cough Cure.

Well, I just had to go and investigate how old it might be and find out more about the mixture. As a child, I was fed a similar mixture, but I needed to try to find out if this bottle was a lot older than me.  I blogged about my research findings on Thursday. If anyone is interested, I found the story of MR. VENO an enjoyable one. Read a little about his American and UK exploits  at NANCY’S NOVELS

Eight days left now to finish that WIP. The clock is ticking.

Today is accounted for. It’s ‘Christmas Craft Fair’ number 4 where I’m selling my novels (done 3 already in November, and have another Fair on the 28thNov)

Monday 24th  also marks the start of BOOK WEEK SCOTLAND’ (click to find out more). This is an annual event set up to encourage more reading by everyone. There are lots of events planned across Scotland – in schools, libraries and other public venues. Individuals, like me, are also involved. This year, I’m doing author presentations at  nearby Inverurie Library (not my local) where I’ll be outlining the highs and lows of getting published; doing book readings and hopefully selling some more books.

SALTIREThe 30th November is St. Andrew’s Day in Scotland. Although it’s not a national holiday (ie no day off work or school),  some people do celebrate it. My family and I always have a ‘haggis, neeps and tatties’ dinner, sometimes followed by cranachan ( a decadent raspberries, oatmeal and cream dessert) and shortbread. We might even have a wee nip of whisky– except I have to admit I’m not fond of it. The sweeter version of Glayva whisky liqueur is more to my taste.

St. Andrew legends can vary but here are some St. Andrew’s Day links:

This ONE has a funny little animation.



Will I get my WIP finished? (*insert smiley winks here *) What do you think?

Have a lovely weekend!

new blog header 2

Nancy Jardine writes Historical Romantic Adventures, Contemporary Romantic Mysteries

(and hopefully in 2015  a Time-travel Adventure for early teens)

You can find her novels on:

Amazon US Author page,

B &N, Smashwords, www.crookedcatbooks, and other major ebook retailers.

Pop in to her:

WebsiteBlog,  and Facebook sites

ps- Haggis, turnips, mashed potatoes.

Haggis, neeps n' tatties
Haggis, neeps n’ tatties

17 thoughts on “Getting ready for…

  1. Oh my goodness, Nancy–it sounds like you are busy indeed! The bottle find is cool, and I liked reading the information about Mr. Veno on your blog. Thanks for the links about St. Andrew’s Day as well. Good luck with all your activities and finishing the WIP!


  2. Nancy, shame on you *GRIN*, putting pieces of history out there where I can read them. Me, history and like you, writing to do.

    All joking aside, you nailed it. As much as writing, telling the story in just the way we see it in our heads, is important, life does seem to throw up ‘roadblocks’. Navigating the need to get the story told and enjoying family and work, can be a bit of a time grabber. I know the story will be told as only you can tell it, and it will be wonderful, and you will get it done. Best, Doris


    1. Aw- beautifully said, Doris, thank you. I’m blushing and I hoped that those of us who appreciate bits of ‘everyday’ history might like my find.


  3. Wow, you have a lot on your plate right now. Fascinating about the canal possibly being in your garden. Having another family living with you, including grands, will certainly impact your writing schedule. I hope you make your goal. I had planned to do the same but it looks like life may have other plans. Fun post.


    1. Yep, Kate, life gets in the way. It’s not only my writing that’s slowed down this year but also my reading but I know that I’ll pick that up again as soon as it’s the right time. I’ve still got Wrangler authors’ books on my kindle, waiting for that time slot for me to read them.


  4. Nancy, I’m so excited for all the activity you have going on with your novels! I had a school visit on Friday (yesterday) and another when I return from my Thanksgiving holiday, a booksigning during the holiday week, and 2 or 3 more before Christmas… plus another school visit. It is a WHIRLWIND TIME, that’s for sure! I’m like you … I don’t have my word count very high for NaNoWriMo, but I do hope to write quite a bit while at my parents, as other “distractions” (other than visiting, cooking, etc) won’t vie for my attention. I may not get my word count in, but since it’s my first year, it gives me something to continue forth with in the weeks and (cold, snowy, windy) months ahead! Happy St. Andrews Day!


    1. You’ve been doing brilliantly at getting out and about with lots of school visits etc. Gayle but i’m sure it’ll be great to wind down the pace a bit at your folks. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!


  5. Busy, busy, busy. I find that when I make major plot changes to a novel, it reverberates and before you know it you have a new novel. Instead of a publishing date of January 2015, it is suddenly June 2015… whoops, another change… now it’s February 2016. 🙂 Yep, the actual process of writing the story becomes a time-travel effort or even a jaunt through a multi-dimension portal… what you once had is no more, replaced with a new reality.


  6. Thanks for sharing Nancy. You lead a wonderful life with the grands, your research and writing, and now research on the canal right in your back yard and the Veno bottle. Sometimes when I’m so busy I get frustrated. Then I look at my life and realize how really fortunate I am and I realize I love my life just the way it is! Congrats on all the appearances and book signings. Best of luck with sales – you are an inspiration to me!


  7. Nancy, sorry about the canal. I hate it when things like that are uprooted. How old was the Veno bottle? Good luck on you new time-travel story. How do you do at the craft fairs selling your books? Cher’ley


    1. Hi Cherley. I’ve not managed to date the bottle yet but they were sold from the 1900s throught to probbly the 1960s in that style – could be any time between. The recent 2-day fair I sold 29 books which was fantastic. On a normal day, it’s not a huge amount but maybe around 10. I’ve also had invitations to do ‘speaking’ events from people who haven’t bought at the fair, but mabye will buy later when I visit their groups.


  8. A wonderful post, Nancy. Although creating something new can be difficult, the pleasure of a completed task is unparallelled. Now if you find a full bottle of Veno’s Lightning Cough Cure, send it my way, I could really use it!


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