Germs and Covers: 2013 365 Challenge #184

Poorly-day activity (it's an airport)

Poorly-day activity (it’s an airport)

When we all had flu earlier in the year, I thought there was nothing worse than us all being ill together. Turns out being ill one after the other isn’t much fun either! Little man had his sky-high temperature last Friday and it was little lady’s turn today.

Unlike little man, who still ran riot despite the fever, my daughter has spent the day watching TV on the iPad. Which means so has my son – 2 being too young to understand the different rules that apply to poorly people on a non-nursery day. (If it had been a school-day I would have banned the iPad as I don’t want being ill to be more fun than school!)

As I also seem to have a high temp again, it was a lovely excuse for us all to have a lazy day. Except of course I now have a hyper-toddler an hour before bedtime. Or Daddy does, anyway, as I’m currently walking the dog.



We resorted to the old-time favourite activities to pass the time, including mega-block construction, train sets, and puzzles, finishing with painting the bath, to survive the last pre-Daddy hour (which at least meant I finally cleaned it, too! Every cloud has a silver lining and all that.)

I also got to catch up on some great blogs, like this guest post on Scary Mommy all about finding out you’re expecting twins (like Helen does, in Baby Blues & Wedding Shoes) and this post on Rinelle Grey’s blog, about the excitement of designing a new cover and how it can drive you to get a book finished.

Rinelle’s post made me smile, because I’ve spent the last couple of days revisiting an old problem -choosing a cover image for a novel of mine called Class Act – with a view to getting stuck into the novel again.

Working title for Class Act

Working title for Class Act

I’ve always envisaged the cover having two pairs of wellies – tatty supermarket pink girl ones and spotless green Hunter ones for the man. It comes from the opening scene and covers the ‘class’ bit of Class Act. I’ve been searching on and off for a year. So this time I decided (after several more hours of fruitless searching) to concentrate on the ‘Act’ bit. This is my first draft, and I like it.

The book is complete but needs a lot of work, as it was originally written as a 50k Mills and Boon, and was my first finished novel. It hurts to read it – the first third is drowning in back story (as was the case with Baby Blues, also originally a 50k M&B).

With Baby Blues I re-started the story five months earlier, to show rather than tell the back story. With Class Act I don’t want to do that, because I like where it opens. So I’ve been putting off the challenge ahead. However, now Baby Blues is out of my hands, and now I have a working cover, I might be ready to roll up my sleeves and get stuck in. My Inner-Editor is in full flow, so I need to seize the moment! (Might explain why Claire post is short today!)


Below is the next installment in my novel Two-Hundred Steps Home: written in daily posts since 1st January as part of my 2013 365 Challenge. Read about the challenge here.You can catch up by downloading the free ebook volumes on the right hand side of the blog:


Claire checked her rear-view mirror, half-expecting to see Kim run from the building to prevent her from leaving. She waited, five seconds, ten. At last, with the Skoda at risk of over-heating, she pushed the stick into gear and accelerated from the car park, wheels spinning on the gravel.

The satnav had merrily informed her of several hotels within driving distance, but Claire couldn’t face checking in at 1am and facing some all-night security guard with raised eyebrows. No one turned up in the middle of the night, in a bridesmaid dress, without a story to tell.

Claire looked at the numbers on the blue screen and sighed. How long until I reach the first open Starbucks.


Claire sat in the car, watching the numbers tick over. She raised the cardboard coffee cup to her lips and sipped, pulling a face at the tepid liquid. It was tempting to drive back to the services and pick up a fresh cup. It would kill some time, at least. Her eyelids dragged, reminding her she was in no fit state to drive any further. Twisting at the dial on her seat, Claire let the chair slip back and tried to get comfortable. Sleep evaded her, and she watched the numbers move, through unfocussed eyes.

At last, the hour digit reached seven. She stretched, cricking her neck left and right, then rubbed her eyes, cursing as mascara made them sting. Pulling her cardigan tighter, Claire thanked God she’d thought to get changed. The bridesmaid dress now lay in a carrier-bag on the doorstep of a charity shop, next to a sign urging that donations not be left there. What was one more wrongdoing in a day littered with them?

Swallowing hard and cursing the snakes twisting in her stomach, Claire walked up the path and rang the bell. There was no answer. She waited, unsure what to do if no one was in. Her hand was raised, ready to ring the bell a second time, when footsteps reached her on the other side of the glass door, and a figure appeared through the frosting.

The sound of locks being released, and the chain being slid back, echoed loudly in the early-morning hush. The door eventually opened, and an ashen face appeared, brow creased.

“Claire! What are you doing here, and at this hour?”

Claire smiled wearily at the familiar face, peering at her from beneath a head of curlers. She resisted the urge to cry.

“Hi Mum, can I come in?”


6 thoughts on “Germs and Covers: 2013 365 Challenge #184

  1. I never know which is worse, getting sick all at the same time, or one after the other! Hope everyone in your house is better soon.

    Love the cover image, so pretty. If you need a beta reader….

    • Thanks Silva, I just keep telling myself better now than when they’re at school (although school is free and nursery costs way too much, so I’ll probably be more relaxed about them taking time off school!)

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