Who Pooped in the cream?

I LOVE the smell of good coffee. I don’t know what makes coffee good (or bad), but I do know that the smell of freshly brewed coffee is a fabulous one. It makes me want to like coffee …. but I don’t. Not even a little bit. I wish I did, truly … and I’m not just saying that; my husband is a trained barista and his Italian monster of a cafe sized machine takes up a good chunk of our kitchen counter. The sounds and smells of his coffee-making routines have filled our home for well over a decade now and are a decent part of who he is and his presence in our home.

So when I tell people I can’t stand the taste of coffee they are shocked (and some even horrified) as apparently, he makes the best coffee around.

So you see, I am well aware that the problem is with me, not them, nor my husband, nor even coffee itself. I just don’t like it. Period. And I never have. When I grew up, instant coffee was the rage and my parents took to it like ducks to water. Crappy granules that didn’t even smell good. But they loved it. And in hindsight, I am sure that it was my mother’s rebellion against her own mother’s dainty china cups and weak tea. It was the seventies and I think it made her feel “modern” as she rejected the teacakes and dainties of her own stifled youth and embraced large chunky (very brown) terracotta mugs of steaming coffee. As it empowered her (and annoyed my grandmother) her love for coffee spilt over to anything she could possibly add those strong smelling granules to; coffee scrolls, coffee flavoured cream, coffee icing, and even tea cakes became coffee cakes.

When I grew up, instant coffee was the rage and my parents took to it like ducks to water. Crappy granules that didn’t even smell good. But they loved it. And in hindsight, I am sure that my mother loved it so much partly because it was my her rebellion against her own mother’s dainty china cups and weak tea. It was the seventies and I think it made her feel “modern” as she rejected the teacakes and dainties of her own stifled youth and embraced large chunky (very brown) terracotta mugs of steaming coffee. As it empowered her (and annoyed my grandmother) her love for coffee spilt over to anything she could possibly add those strong smelling granules to; coffee scrolls, coffee flavoured cream, coffee icing, and even tea cakes became coffee cakes.

It took me decades to start unpacking my miserable childhood and as I began writing my memoir last year it finally dawned on me that I had been the piggy in the middle as my mother subtly yet ferociously rebelled against her own childhood and desperately needed me on her side. My mother does not cajole or encourage or explain. She judges and she bullies and she threatens.

Saturday “morning tea” (coffee and cake) was her favourite treat and the highlight of her week. We would all go to the cake shop and choose something special. I chose meringues or apple pie or sponge cake because those were my favourites. It never occurred to me that they represented my grandmother’s choices.

So my choices were squashed and I was not allowed to pick any of those things. I was judged harshly, scolded and belittled in front of the other customers and told that they were childish choices. That I needed to make more “adult choice” like coffee scrolls and basically, all her favourites. And so each week as we stood in the cake shop with a world of choice around us, I could only choose from her handful of favourites.

Coffee flavoured things or nut infested things made me gag. I never learnt to like them for whatever reason and so I would say no thank you. “Your choice” she’d say as if it was. As my siblings acquiesced and we drove home with cakes for everyone but me, and I sat at the table with the rest of the family watching them enjoy their spoils and chug down large brown mugs of coffee, I had to sit there, every week, with nothing.

For decades my mother would pick things for me, and offer me coffee flavoured cakes and creams and so on. Even as a thirty-year-old, she simply didn’t get it. She couldn’t hear I DON’T LIKE COFFEE!

“Oh I know”, she’d say, “but it only has a little bit of coffee in it. You’ll like it”.

NO, I WON’T! I won’t like it just because there is only a little bit in it.

A little bit of something one detests does not make it delicious. It isn’t like the odd brussel sprout on the corner of your plate that is actually good for you and you can swallow it quickly and then enjoy the rest of the meal. Cakes and buns and treats in my totally subjective opinion, are treats, and when I spend those calories and sugars, I want to spend them on something that actually is delicious for me, not on something laced with a taste I don’t like, through every single bite.

if you don’t like the cherry on top, put it aside. If you don’t like the nuts around the crust, leave them. If you don’t like the flavour through the entire thing, then what’s the point?

Coffee is an objective flavour and I totally get that most people in the world enjoy it. But what if it was a little bit of poop? What if someone dropped the cream, picked it back up again and a teeny bit of dirt and bird poop got in, so they just mixed it up so you could hardly taste it or see it?

A teeny bit of something you REALLY don’t like doesn’t make it go away.

Books to me are like cakes. Other than for study, they are special and delicious and a treat and we get to stand in the library or the bookstore and choose the one we would like to read and it has nothing to do with anyone else. So many people say “You should read this kind because it’s more adult” or “I know this one has scenes in it that make you feel uncomfortable but don’t worry about it … it’s just a little bit of whatever“.

If there is coffee or poop in the cream or the book, we won’t like it, no matter how much my mother or anyone else tells us we should. The world is full of books and we get to choose what we read. Over and over authors are told to stick to your genre, that if they add in bits from other genres they can get lost in no-man’s-land where there isn’t enough coffee for it to be a coffee book, but those who hate coffee won’t read it either. A little bit of coffee can spoil an otherwise fabulous book. And readers want to read fabulous books!

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Where you can find and follow Jennifer:

YouTube |Blog | The Mighty | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Goodreads | Amazon

@JPeaSmith

Are You On Board?

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Hi to all my readers, friends, supporters and fans (like I have fans LOL)… are you able to help me launch my next book?

Next year I will be launching my first full-length book, my memoir, but I won’t launch till I have a full support team and the support to launch well. So this month I’m going to be sorting it all out, and I’d love to know who’s in, who’s out and what people are happy to do. I don’t want to put ANY pressure on anyone, I also don’t want you to feel you need to be there for me in ways that you don’t want to. Many of you signed on last time to be a part of my launch team and I made the HUGE mistake of thinking that everyone could do everything. But I was wrong and I apologize deeply and sincerely!

I want to do things very differently this time. To give you some idea of how this is going to go, here is what you can expect to see:

November will be loads of posts and lots of sorting, then we will be relatively quiet through to next year. I can’t launch till I get the numbers spelt out below, but when that happens, it will be all systems go for a couple of months through launch and that’s when I’ll need most of your support.

I need you to work out what you are happy with, so please feel free to A: pick one kind of support, B: pick a few ways to support or C: nothing (or to pull out now if you’ve already signed on), or at least pull out well before launch, so I don’t count on you and then get let down.

Here are the different kinds of support:

1: BETA READERS.
A handful of you signed on to be Beta Readers last time and you were an immense help. I have a bunch of tools and an editor this time, so by the time the manuscript gets to Beta Reading time, there will hopefully only be a few mistakes (if any LOL). For you lot, once you have signed on I will interact with you one on one. Beta Readers won’t be needed before next February, maybe even later. I need about 6 of you for this job. If you’re in please email me on the address at the bottom 🙂
2: REVIEWERS:
Some of you are verified Am8zon reviewers, some of you want to be but don’t know how. If you are or want to be (or have a friend who is and is happy to let you review on their account), then you could be a part of this team.
I know that many reviewers hate lots of Facebook posts and don’t need to be part of the build-up and “hype”. So through November, I will be posting HEAPS here about ways to be a good reviewer, how to build your own reputation as an Am8zon reviewer (which has huge benefits), how to get books for free from my other author friends, and so on. Then at the end of November, I will create a mailing list for the Reviewers so that you can get once a month emails specific to this task without having to search your newsfeeds all the time for the relevant info. So again, please let me know if this could be you?
I can’t launch till I have 70 verified reviewers on the team, I’m praying to get at least 50 by the end of this month, and that’s a VERY tall order. These people don’t have to do a thing until launch, but I need them to commit now (and follow through). Then once the book is out those people will “buy” the book for free through the launch, read it and review it with an honest review.
3: BRAND AMBASSADORS:
Others of you don’t want to, can’t, or won’t do verified reviews, and aren’t into Beta Reading either, and I want you all to know that that is TOTALLY fine! I also know that many of you in this category are on Fb almost every day and that you are very visible. I desperately need a team of people like this as well, who can spend a minute or two when you are on Facebook, supporting my brand. “Likes” on posts these days have no success anymore because of “Like farms” and “click farms”, but comments and shares have huge power still. I won’t expect anyone to do things every day, but if you would like to support me by being a Brand Ambassador for Jennifer Peacock-Smith, then that would be awesome! The more the merrier of course, but I can’t launch till I have at least 20 of these. Again, please let me know if you’d like this to be you!
If none of the above appeals to you, please don’t sign on (or quietly remove yourself from the group if you are already on it). I don’t expect ANYONE to stay and won’t be offended I promise, but I need a solid team I can rely on and it’s better to slowly build it with committed members than to think it’s big enough to launch when it isn’t and in reality, half the group aren’t involved.
If you don’t join, (or leave) you will still be loved and you can still see everything when it happens on my Facebook Author Page linked below.

But if you want to join my team, I will eternally grateful! Please either:

*Email me at JPeaSmith@KingsRoadChronicles.com

and/or

*Sign on for my private Facebook Street Team Group HERE!

and/or

*Sign on for my usual brief, monthly newsletters which will have the basics each month HERE.

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Where you can find and follow Jennifer:

YouTube |Blog | The Mighty | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Goodreads | Amazon

@JPeaSmith

#NaNoWriMo17 day 1

How stupid am I that I sign in to my WriMo account the first day of November and not before?? I can’t remember my password for the life of me so I click for a new one and get this result:

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Um, …… so the last half hour and the first 300 words typed in #NaNoWriMo2017 are my email address and new password over and over and over and over again… with no success… I wonder if 3 million people around the world are doing the same thing? Or if everyone else is way more organised than me?

Oh well… I’d better go write even if I can’t sign the numbers in yet! How’s your day one going?

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Where you can find and follow Jennifer:

YouTube |Blog | The Mighty | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Goodreads | Amazon

@JPeaSmith