BOOKS, History, writing

“How to start writing your novel” – with writer, Gabrielle Emmons


Recently I have been talking and collaborating with my very good friend, (a novelist and history enthusiast), an intelligent, studious and amicable lady who strives for greatness in her writing, Gabrielle Emmons. We have been talking a lot about writing in general and I came up with the idea of her doing a guest post on how she begins to write a novel. This is fantastic for those who are budding authors, ready for a new breathe of fresh air or something to their writing life.
I am proud to introduce her to my blog and with the upmost sincere thanks and gratefulness to have her feature on here.
You will find the full article here on her blog, Gabrielle M Emmons and you will also find that she works and keeps up with her own numerous blogs showcasing her work and authorship.
My absolute favourite blog of hers is Tea, Books and Britain because well, you know me! I have become the bit of an Anglophile! And the title is just Oh so perfect! And sums up my life basically. A cup of tea while watching “Escape to the country” or “60 Minute Makeover” has truly been the highlight of my afternoons.
Before I post her article I totally recommend for you to check out her excellent Book Review on “The Mark of the King”. This description on the back cover definitely makes me want to delve into it.

After being imprisoned and branded for the death of her client, twenty-five-year-old midwife Julianne Chevalier trades her life sentence for exile to the fledgling 1720s French colony of Louisiana, where she hopes to be reunited with her brother, serving there as a soldier. To make the journey, though, women must be married, and Julianne is forced to wed a fellow convict.

When they arrive in New Orleans, there is no news of Benjamin, Julianne’s brother, and searching for answers proves dangerous. What is behind the mystery, and does military officer Marc-Paul Girard know more than he is letting on?

With her dreams of a new life shattered, Julianne must find her way in this dangerous, rugged land, despite never being able to escape the king’s mark on her shoulder that brands her a criminal beyond redemption.

So, even if you haven’t clicked on that review, bookmark it or save it on your internet and make sure you get that little glimpse of a story of great and hopeful history. It truly has made me want to read it very soon!
In her Writing 101 – a new series blog post she states how we specifically have been discussing the idea on HOW to BEGIN writing a novel. It has truly been amazing talking with her about ideas and brainstorming and starting that novel in particular.
Now, let’s get started with her article which was published on September 12th 2017 on her History with Flair website. Grab yourself a drink (tea or water) and a notebook & pen or laptop. There is an activity at the end!

Many people have asked me how do I start the process for writing a novel. They have also asked me how do I find inspiration/ideas. So I thought I would do a blog series featuring writing. This is the first in the series and you can find more about it here.
So pull up a chair, grab your favorite beverage (mine is tea), and let’s get started. (Just a heads up there will be an assignment at the end of this post. But it shouldn’t be too bad).
First off, there is no one way to start the process of writing a novel. Each author has their own way of how to start that is unique to them. The key is to find one that works for you.
For example, some have a vague idea right away. Others have pictured a character or characters. Again, others have a couple of scenes already figured out.
It is all up to you.
For me, it varies. For my WWII novel set in England (which I have put on hold for now), I already had a vague understanding the plot.
For my Autumn themed story that is currently in the very early stages, I knew I wanted to have setting of the novel be during the Autumn months in MA because I love the Fall. I also knew who my main characters were.
Okay, homework time.
I want you to grab your favorite notebook and writing utensil. You can use your laptop if you prefer to type. I usually for this stage write it in a notebook and then transfer it to the computer later on.
Now, I want you to write down five ideas that could be potential stories. Don’t feel bad if you can only come up with one and two. It is a start.
The most important thing to remember is to have fun. Writing a novel should be fun.

How did you go with the activity?
I thought I would share one idea I came up with. Here is what I wrote:
Idea 5. Professor Wickman travels to London to start a new job at the City University of London. Committing his time and energy to his work and study is his priority and is all work, but through a period of time he learns to apply his work to excellence and focus on a project with his enchanting partner Lady Grosvenor from the affluent suburb of Mayfair. They eventually fall in love whilst working together and get married at St George Hanover Square.
It is not a complete idea but that is an example of ideas. First off starting with the main character, then a setting, place or particular location, the body and then the minor character fixed in there somewhere.
I skipped a whole part of what “could be” (a long plot) There could be so much more I could add to it and I am excited at the thought of creating a story again!
but I liked the idea of this so much I am thinking I am giving away a good story already! Well, that can be my next project!
Emmalisa
Lifestyle, Uncategorized

Tea Etiquette


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They say that the traditional time for Afternoon Tea is Four o’clock, because it is between lunch and dinner, however any time between two and four o’clock is fine.

Here is a guide to show you how to have a traditional English Afternoon Tea:

When setting up your tea tray, it should consist of:

A Teapot

Tea Strainer (optional)

Creamer

Sugar bowl (with Sugar tongs – to serve the sugar cubes)

A small saucer (For lemon slice on the side) Or you may want to put some Classic Cream Scones on the side.

Guests cups and saucers

You don’t have to have a flash silver setting, if you are having a less formal setting, and you don’t have to go out to the department stores and buy the most expensive thing!!! It is nice to have either “Old Country Roses” Royal Albert collection or “Miranda Kerr for Royal Albert Friendship Tea for Two“, if its just with your best friend! It is so pretty because it has peonies printed on the teapot and teacup, and you can also get the mug too! This fine bone china is microwave safe and the banding is 22 carat gold plus there’s FREE shipping!

I especially like the Polka Rose Formal Vintage Teacup and Saucer as it is very pretty.

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Etiquette & Manners

When hosting a proper afternoon tea, invitations are a must! So that the guests know what to wear, or what to bring. I recently just learned that afternoon tea is not the same thing as a “High Tea” – High Tea is actually what the servants had in grand estates at 6pm after they had given upstairs their afternoon tea.

Being well-mannered is a lovely thing to have. Learning how to conduct yourself at the dining table is essential, and is something that you learn over time. It is not something you learn over night (although if you are a quick learner, it can be easy to learn). It is important to practice graceful and splendid manners! and I have talked about etiquette in a few posts such as “How to be a Lady“, and “Easy Etiquette“.

Extra Tea Equipment

A gorgeous pretty table cloth would be essential to match with the china, if possible along with cloth or linen napkins.

If you choose to have scones, knives can be needed to cut the scones in half (but the proper british way is you merely break the scone in half with your fingers, I have hear using a knife isn’t really the proper way but people do still use them occassionally) and you can add a small bowl with strawberry jam for the scones. Or clotted cream – YUM!!! and don’t forget some forks if you are having CAKE!

The Tea Party

When everyone is seated at the table, take the napkin and unfold it on your lap with the crease folded towards you. The hostess pours the tea and always ensures that each guests teacup is full. Then you offer the milk, sugar or lemon.

When pouring your guests tea, make sure you don’t pour multiple cups at the same time and pass several cups at a time. The pourer should hold the teacup and saucer in their left hand and can ask their guests if they like their tea strong or weak, and then ask if they want sugar or milk with it.

Once the tea is poured, wherever you are, at home, someones house, make sure that you don’t make a loud noise when stirring. Make sure you stir gently. Don’t stir in a circle (to avoid clanging), so move the teaspoon in a small arch back and forth, so not to make a noise.

Once finished stirring, do NOT put the teaspoon on the table, make sure you put the teaspoon on the saucer on the right hand side behind the china cup. That is the proper etiquette – whatever the culture is.

Number One Rule

Don’t lift your pinky (People think this is the proper way of etiquette but it is actually NOT). In social settings it is actually considered rude and in British Etiquette especially it is best to curl your pinky finger in. The correct way is to make sure your thumb and index finger meet in the handle.

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and when you have finished your cake, make sure you dab your mouth with a napkin (not wipe!)

Tea Sandwiches must have their crusts cut off and can be presented either in a rectangular or triangular way. I also just learnt that the Royal Household prefers to have them cut in small squares, and (That’s the way I like it! hehe) They can also be eaten with your hands, not cutlery.

And then you can have your scones……

Spoon a dollop of cream, or your jam onto the edges of your plate.

Spread just enough of a bit of jam and cream onto the scone with your butter knife, and enjoy! It is nice to take a sip of tea between each bite.

You can learn how to use the Basics of learning to eating a scone properly here.

If you are unsure on what sort of tea to buy, have a look at some loose leaf tea and tea bags on the T2 website. The gift cubes are only $14! If you haven’t read my previous post, I have recommended my new favourite tea!!! It is called “London Strand Earl Grey” – I have been drinking it every day!!!  It has bergamot and a hint of citrus, but tastes positively heavenly.

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Reference Articles

There is a fantastic article on Vogue teaching you the Do’s and Don’ts of drinking tea.

“How to do a proper English Afternoon Tea like a Royal”

and theres another one on Afternoon Tea Etiquette – Top 10 Do’s and Don’ts written by Afternoontea.co.uk

and I absolutely ADORE Huffington Post’s article on “British Tea Etiquette: How to Drink it Downton Abbey Style

 

Beauty, Fashion, Lifestyle, TRAVEL, Uncategorized

Fortnum & Mason Favourites


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I have come across a few favourites……. Well, ALOT actually……

I couldn’t help myself but google Fortnum and Mason today. It has been a dream the past couple of years to visit London, and enjoy a high-tea there. It is on my LIST! I haven’t visited London just yet, but I know that I will get there one day! There is something about that place, coffee shops, museums, art galleries, bookshops, and so much MORE!!!! I enjoy watching “Ladies of London” every now and then too.

Find here a number of items I found on F&M’s website – ROYAL COLLECTION

I am in LOVE with this pink mug, Halycon Days Her Majesty The Queens 90th Birthday Mug in Pink

QUEENS 90th PINK MUG

Halycon Days is a London brand. It is an English fine bone china mug that is finished with an intricate trellis design. Featuring a wreath of golden flourishes that frames the inscription ‘In Celebration of the 90th Birthday of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, 21st April 2016’, this mug makes a wonderful addition to any home.

I am LOVING the GIFT section. They have a WIDE range of Bath and Body, Skincare, Handbags and purses, fragrances, jewellery, scarfs, flowers, tea, china and silverware, and hampers! There is so much to shop!!!!

There are TWO kinds of tea that I want to buy.

Queen Anne Blend Tea

Created in 1907, this popular blend is named after the monarch who was on the throne in the year that Fortnum & Mason actually began. The smooth blend of carefully selected TGFOP Assam and Ceylon FBOP teas produces a strong, smooth tea that is refreshing at any time of day.

QUEEN ANNE BLEND TEA

 

Royal Blend Tea

This luxury tea is classic. It has ceylon and assam. It was actually first blended for King Edward VII in the summer of 1902, Royal Blend has been popular ever since for its smooth, almost honey-like flavour.

ROYAL BLEND TEA

There is also a tea towel that I absolutely ADORE!

It is ‘Her Majesty The Queens 90th Birthday Tea Towel

This beautifully designed tea towel commemorates The Queen’s 90th in true royal fashion. Made in the UK from 100% cotton, this tea towel is finished in royal blue and features an inscription celebrating the UK’s longest reigning monarch.

QUEENS 90th TOWEL

and of course, I want to get a bag that represents……

F&M BAG

They even have a lunch box you can buy!!!!

So that’s just a few to add to my ever-growing list on what to buy. I think that when I DO get to London, I will probably need just about ten grand!!!!

Harrods and Selfridges here I come!!!! World-class shopping is EVERYTHING.

Harrods has Chanel Cosmetics such as the Soleil Tan De Chanel Bronzing Makeup Base. The velvety finish of this light cream-gel bronzer leaves your skin with a beautiful sun-bathed look. Wear it on its own, or for a hint of outdoors radiance, over or under your favourite CHANEL foundation.

CHANEL BRONZER

 

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HARRODS AT NIGHT

 

HARRODS:

87-135 Brompton Road

Knightsbridge, LONDON

Opening hours:

Monday through to Saturday: 10am – 9PM

Sunday: 11:30 – 6PM

And Selfridges also has Chanel, along with NARS, MAC, Christian Loubiton, Tom Ford and Charlotte Tilbury, Giorgio Armani and so much MORE!!!!

Exclusive to Selfridges, they have THE ESTEE EDIT BY ESTEE LAUDER
Flash illuminator 25m

FLASH ILLUMINATOR

Estée Lauder Flash Illuminator instantly highlights skin and provides nourishing ingredients like hyaluronic acid, the moisture magnet. Lightweight and non-sticky, this balm glides effortlessly over skin for a baby-soft finish, while its blend of micro-fine pearls ensures extra luminosity. Wear alone to highlight, strobe, blush or shade, or mix in with your foundation for a super sexy all-over-glow.

You can also find it on the Sephora website for $28.

 

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Selfridges & Co
400 Oxford Street
London
W1A 1AB

OPENING HOURS

Monday 9.30 – 22.00
Tuesday 9.30 – 22.00
Wednesday 9.30 – 22.00
Thursday 9.30 – 22.00
Friday 9.30 – 22.00
Saturday 9.30 – 22.00
Sunday 11.30 – 18.00

PINK LOVE HEART

KISS MAKEUP LIPS

Exquisite Emmalisa