Who Am I?

Who am I? This question is beginning to nag at me lately. I am Catherine Green. I am a mother, a wife, a daughter, a friend, and an author. This last one has been sorely neglected recently in my daily schedule. My life has become a chaotic cycle of breastfeeding, changing nappies, bathing and washing children, preparing food for children, feeding them, cleaning up behind them, and everything else that comes of being a mother and housewife.

It is time to reignite my author passion. I have ideas for dozens of stories, both novels and shorts, scribbled in diaries that I keep staring at, but never do anything about. I joined Camp NaNoWriMo this month as a way of getting back into the writing habit. It worked very slowly for about two weeks, but then my domestic life overtook everything again. How do I balance being with my children 24/7 with being an author?

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The problem is that I am not simply an author. It isn’t just about writing the stories. If I want to be recognised, if I want to sell books, if I want to earn a decent wage as an author, then I have to be a whole lot else besides. I have to be an entrepreneur, a business woman, a marketing professional, a social media expert, and a whole host of other titles that I can’t even contemplate in my current tired state of mind.

Who are you? How do you define yourself and your life? I am interested to hear other people’s stories, and how all of our lives overlap and run parallel in so many ways… Have a great week everyone!

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When Will I Sleep Again?

Today I am feeling tired. Actually, I feel exhausted. It seems to be a standard requirement for being a parent. People joke about the fact that parents mostly endure sleepless nights and busy days, but seriously, it is a real problem! My daughters are not bad sleepers really. My eldest does sleep all through the night, and very deeply too. My baby is currently waking roughly every 2 hours for a feed, and she is restless because she is teething and growing and doing all those things that healthy babies do.

I have nothing to complain about. It is simply a fact. I am tired! And that is the reason why my writing has slowed down to the point where it is almost non-existent, and I am having to adjust my priorities and allow myself some time to rest when I can. If I don’t do this, I risk the very real possibility of collapsing with exhaustion, and that would do my family no good at all. I think our culture and society has always downplayed the struggle of parenthood, for both men and women.

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In my experience, women take the brunt of the domestic responsibilities simply because it makes better financial sense for the family. I find it sad that this is still the case after 100 years of feminism, campaigns for equality, and a rise in women in the workplace. In fact, I find it downright disgusting that women who stay home to care for their children are overlooked, under appreciated, and generally looked down upon by their societal peers, for doing a job that is essential if the human race is to continue!

Well, before I take this into a rant about equality and sexism, I will leave it there. I am just too tired to continue. My baby is waking from her nap, my kitchen is full of dirty dishes that won’t clean themselves, and I have to collect my elder daughter from preschool soon. Maybe I will sleep properly at some point in the future. For now it remains a distant dream… but i wouldn’t have it any other way, because I love my children! Have a great week everyone.

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#99cents Offer! Love Hurts (A Redcliffe Novel)

Did I mention that my debut novel Love Hurts (A Redcliffe Novel) is now just $0.99 on Smashwords? Oh, well, just saying… maybe you want to read it, if you haven’t already… and don’t forget to leave a review! Thank you!

The Cornish town of Redcliffe is a beautiful seaside resort.  It has wild sea, rambling forests, mysterious cliffs, and a local powerful werewolf pack.  Jessica Stone is blissfully happy running a bookshop with her best friend and business partner, Elizabeth Gormond.

When Detective Jack Mason sweeps Jessica off her feet, she cannot understand the hostility towards him from her gay best friend Simon Bunce.  Eventually Jessica realises that there is more to Jack Mason than meets the eye, and then she meets his identical twin brother, Danny.  She is drawn into their dangerous lives by their enemy, a powerful werewolf determined to overthrow the pack leader.

Jessica’s world is turned upside down as she discovers that all is not as it seems in this picturesque resort, and there are many painful lessons to be learnt about falling in love…

Buy Love Hurts (A Redcliffe Novel) from Smashwords now! 

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Ticking the Boxes of #Motherhood

It occurred to me earlier that my life seems to revolve around ticking all the boxes at the moment. I mean, I looked at my 11 month-old daughter playing with her toys, and I ran through a mental check list: 1. Has she been fed? Check. 2. Has she had her milk? Check. 3. Has she had enough playtime? Check. 4. Has she got a clean nappy? Check. 5. Does she need a nap? Check. 6. Does she need more cuddles? Check.

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And I wonder why I am exhausted! This check list runs on a repeat cycle all day, every day, and not just with her. I do a similar one with my 3 year-old, although of course the nappy is replaced with toilet visits, the milk with drinking water, etc. These are the things we take for-granted, and yet they are the core essentials for growing our human race. Alongside this I am desperately trying to develop my career, so that I can earn extra money to pay for family holidays, and for my own personal satisfaction and well-being.

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Last week I wrote about feeling a sense of peace at last. This is true, but alongside that peaceful attitude is one of doing everyday jobs, and just doing what humans do naturally. Sometimes I look back on my day and wonder just what exactly I have been doing. Sometimes it is hard to see what takes up all my time, and why I can’t seem to find twenty minutes some days to write a bit of my latest novel. Then I realise, all those cuddles, games, washing and feeding my children actually does take time. You can’t just click your fingers and everything is done (unless you are Mary Poppins!) So now I allow the peaceful feeling to return, and I congratulate myself on doing a damned good job at being Mother.

Have a lovely weekend my friends!

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Finding Peace in a Wild World #SpiritualGrowth

I have been experiencing a lot of emotions and situations recently that I believe are part of my spiritual lesson in life. It has been a while since I wrote a post directly relating to this subject, but every day I embrace my spiritual journey on earth. I recently experienced shock and worry when a close family member was involved in a serious road accident almost four months ago. I now experience weekly anxiety, sadness and hope as we visit him in a specialist hospital facility where he is slowly recovering.

My children continue to amaze, impress, and teach me the true value of human life. For a long time I have been preoccupied with the need to ‘be something,’ to make a success of my life, and to become somebody of worth. Unfortunately I confused this ideal with financial wealth, and I fell into the trap of valuing money above all else on my quest. Of course, it didn’t work out quite the way I expected, and that is as it should be. That is not my journey in this life.

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No, my journey is one of appreciation and love. My children love me unconditionally. They have no concept of jobs, money, material goods, or any of those human creations that we all crave. My children simply want to play, they want to have fun, and they want to do these things with Mummy and Daddy. We are still persuading Daddy to take some time off work, but that is his journey and I cannot interfere (unless he asks, of course!)

Just last week I finally realized that I feel at peace after living in a state of wild upheaval for over a year. My spiritual journey took huge leaps back in 2012, and then in 2013 I feel that I strayed a little. I became overwhelmed by an exhausting pregnancy, and I succumbed to the strains of domestic life while still trying frantically to develop my business. Now, I feel that I can let go of those things that are no longer important. I am working from home, and I am raising a family. I am also taking time to rest, to have fun, and to indulge in things that make me happy. And, that for now, is success.

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Have a wonderful summer my friends! Oh, and if I seem a little quiet during July, here is the reason: http://catherinegreenauthor.blogspot.co.uk/2014/06/preparing-for-camp-nanowrimo-amwriting.html

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Victorian Vampires in Hampshire #amreading

The air in her bedroom was cool and sent a chill up and down her slender body. She had grown familiar with the almost icy atmosphere in her husband’s home during the two years they had been married. Indeed the very mood inside these rooms seemed to reflect his often-volatile personality. He had never consciously hurt her, not in any real sense, but there was always that potential, lying beneath his calm exterior, as though he were a serpent waiting to strike. She could not complain about him, for Lord Gregory Stockton was a most attentive husband, and Sarah was extremely lucky to have secured his affections. He was a very affable gentleman in many ways, but he confused her.

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Sarah found herself pacing the room like a caged animal, desperate to be released into the wild. Her pretty blue taffeta day dress was tight, stiff, and restricting; yet it fit her petite body in all the right places, accentuating her small bosom and curving gracefully over her hips to drape softly on the floor. The dress was specially made by the finest designers, along with the rest of her wardrobe. Her husband had been determined that his young wife would be the perfect showpiece for his estate and his reputation. She wore her soft golden curls pinned up in a diamante hair clip, and would shortly add her matching blue hat ready for her morning horse ride around the grounds.

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Thinking about her daily exercise brought her mind back to young Marcus Scott, the stable lad. Well, he wasn’t really a lad at all; he was a young man of around twenty-five years, older than Sarah herself. She was only twenty-three, and becoming painfully aware of her lack of child bearing during her marriage. This fact was further accentuated every time she visited her mother on the neighbouring estate, and Sarah was increasingly irritated and upset at the admonitions that it was her own fault. Lord Stockton certainly did not seem affected by his lack of heirs. Indeed he never broached the subject, and Sarah knew that it was nothing to do with his being embarrassed or awkward about it. Far from it. He was a most attentive lover, and that was another area where she could not fault her husband.

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The Darkness of Love is widely available online and in bookstores internationally.

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The Supernatural Secrets of Cornwall #amreading

I lifted the large glass to my lips and took a generous sip of rich red wine, savouring the taste. It slid down my throat in a fruity, warm, soothing motion, and I smiled happily and returned my attention to the conversation. Occupying the chair at my left side was my gay best friend Simon Bunce, manager of the Ship public house in which we sat. He was swigging whisky from a glass tumbler, which surprised me since his usual drink was lager. Recently he had turned to hard liqueur, around the time his beloved alpha, Danny Mason, returned home and reclaimed control of the Redcliffe wolf pack. Simon was smiling and telling a joke, his pale blue eyes sparkling and his shaggy blonde hair framing his face in waves, shaking with his movements.

 

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Sally Frost was sitting opposite us. She is Simon’s fellow lieutenant to the Redcliffe pack. The petite blonde woman sat demurely at the table, her fingers playing with a wine glass, her eyes on her friend as he spoke. I glanced around the busy pub, noticing that it was mainly full of local residents tonight. The tourist season was coming to a close, and there were only a few straggling visitors to our town now. The atmosphere was warm and welcoming, much nicer than the cold, dark caves of the wolf lair that lay hidden beneath the pub and in the cliff face that it backed onto at one side. Even the bar staff seemed relaxed tonight, perhaps because their alpha was absent and they could stand down for a few hours without fear of punishment for neglecting their duties.

“Jessica,” I heard Simon speak beside me, “Hey, Jess, wake up!”

 
Shaking my head, I blinked my eyes and turned my face to his, smiling.

 
“Sorry, Simon,” I replied, “I was miles away.”

 

He laughed.

 
“So it seemed,” he said with a wink at Sally, “Are you with us now?”

 
I hesitated, listening to my animal familiar as she stirred in her enchanted forest deep within my psyche. A magnificent snow tiger, Suri was prowling among the frozen pine trees, but she ignored me, which meant I was safe for the moment. She only seemed to communicate when she wanted something, or when I was in danger. I blinked again and turned my body more towards Simon, picking up my glass and sipping more wine.

 
“Yes,” I said, clearing my throat, “I’m here. What were you saying?”

 
Simon shook his head in mock disappointment.

 
“My jokes must be rubbish,” he said in a false sad voice, “You completely zoned out.”

 
“Never mind her,” Sally chimed in jovially, “I’m listening to you, Simon.”

 
Sally caught my eye and pulled a face, and I smiled warmly, sharing her meaning. We both made a great show of humouring Simon, to which he reacted like a grumpy teenager, making us all laugh. I relaxed again, dismissing the lingering feeling of unease that had been haunting me all evening. Instead I listened to Sally’s tales about her work as a nurse, and Simon talking about his latest favourite computer game and the exhilarating surfing session he had enjoyed earlier that day.

 
Jessica,” Suri’s voice cut through my head suddenly, sharp and urgent, “Jessica, you must leave now. Elizabeth is in danger.”

 

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Love Redeems (A Redcliffe Novel) is book 3 in the Redcliffe Novels series. All books are widely available online and in bookstores internationally. There is currently a special offer price on Kindle now.

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