Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Tamar Cohen's little distractions... plus a book giveaway

**Giveaway is now closed**

When we first heard about Tamar Cohen's latest novel, "The War of the Wives," we knew she'd be a great fit for Chick Lit Central. Tamar Cohen has been a freelance journalist for over twenty years during which time she has written for publications including: The Times, The Telegraph, Marie Claire, Cosmopolitan, Good Housekeeping, and Hello! She is the author of nine non-fiction books, as well as her first fictional novel, "The Mistress's Revenge."

Currently, Tamar lives in London with her partner and three teenaged children. You can find her on Facebook and Twitter, especially when she's looking for a good distraction, like she describes in her guest post. Although she intended to write an intelligent, thought-provoking, insightful guest post relating to the themes she deals with in her novels – family dynamics, obsession, betrayal, infidelity – she realized it was the school summer holidays and, well, see what happened!

Thanks to Transworld, we have FIVE copies of "The War of the Wives" for some lucky readers anywhere in the world!

Downstairs my daughter is watching the Olympics on the TV. I can hear the commentator getting very animated about something. I absolutely won’t go to look though. I’m working. I have to get this draft finished (try started). But… it does sound very exciting. I’ll just go to the stairs and peek in. Just for a second. That can’t do any harm – mini breaks from the computer are essential, the scientists say. What do you know? It’s a sport I never even knew existed – men kneeling in little canoes and paddling like Pocahontas. Nothing for me to see here. I’ll go straight back upstairs...just as soon as I’ve seen the end of this race. Oh, and there’s another one...

An hour later and I’ve hauled myself upstairs. Right. I’m sitting at my desk. That’s perfect. Fingers over the keyboard, poised for action. Except there’s something bothering me. The mess! Papers everywhere, a half-pack of paracetemol, books, bills, clothes pegs (!). This is not good feng shui. No wonder I’m creatively stymied! I’ll just spend a few minutes putting things in order – it’ll pay-off a hundredfold in terms of increased productivity. Oh look! My son’s railcard application form. He’ll be needing that filled in before he goes to that festival next week. Which requires his passport. Which requires me to scour the entire house...

Finally found the passport stuffed into a kitchen drawer. Am on my way STRAIGHT back upstairs when I walk past the living room and see the handball is on. Handball? It’s like they’re making up the rules on the spot! I watch for a while just to see the girls dart on the pitch with brooms in between play and debate with my daughter what they are sweeping up. Sweat! Who’d have thought it? They’re sweeping up sweat! After that I have to watch some more just to speculate on the lives of these sweat-sweepers. (And what do you do? Well, I sweep sweat...)

But now I’m back at my desk. Form filled in. Everything in order. Looking out of the window for inspiration. But, oh! The sun is out. Finally. After weeks of grey drizzle, the sky isn’t any longer the colour of an old dishcloth but a gorgeous pure blue. The dog comes and sits by the door, reproach writ large across its face. I ignore it. The draft won’t write itself! The dog starts to make little whimpering noises. We both stare in silence at the blue sky out of the window.

Ok, so the walk takes longer than I thought, what with bumping into a friend outside the café in the park and agreeing that it would be insane not to take advantage of the change in weather, and reminding ourselves that studies show we’re all in danger of getting Rickets because of lack of exposure to sunlight. We have to think of our health, we tell each other sternly. But now I’m back at my desk, and raring to go. That break has done wonders for my concentration. But everyone knows you can’t just go straight into writing, cold so I’ll get myself warmed up by having a quick look at Twitter...

My middle son has appeared by my desk as if by magic. It’s lunchtime, he tells me. Don’t be ridiculous. I’ve only just sat down to work... I look at the clock on the computer. 1.30. How is that possible? Can’t you make yourself something? I ask, tetchily. But no, apparently our kitchen, which I stocked up just yesterday, contains ‘not one single thing to eat’. I sigh theatrically, and head downstairs.
At least I have a clear afternoon to work in. Or at least I would, if it wasn’t the 5000 metres final. The race itself doesn’t last long, but you need to watch the build up, just for the atmosphere. While I’m watching, I multitask by simultaneously eating the cookies my daughter has just made, which somehow seems to have involved using every utensil in the kitchen, now heaped up next to the sink.

Finally I drag myself away, leaving strict orders I’m not to be disturbed. Purposefully I sit down at my desk and power up the computer. There are still a couple of hours left of the working day. Plenty of time as long as I’m focused. I start typing. I’m on fire. I’m a lean, mean writing machine. Suddenly I stop as something occurs to me. Aren’t I supposed to have written a guest post for Chick Lit Central? Isn’t the deadline right around now?

I dig out the email. Yes. Uh-huh. That’s correct. Right around now. On the button! I’d better have a quick flick through the Chick Lit site again, just to get a sense of the style. No point in writing something then finding it’s way out of kilter. Just a quick look, more like a glance really...

A massive roar from the television downstairs snaps me away from the computer screen. I notice it’s no longer bright sunlight outside, but there’s a warm golden evening glow. How can that be right? I contemplate starting typing. There’s still time to get this guest post written... Mum! my daughter is yelling. Mum – it’s the 200 metres. And what’s for dinner? I sigh. Maybe it would be foolish to attempt to write something now, after a long day’s work. Better to start bright and early in the morning, with a fresh head.

I resolve to be at my desk first thing. Well, after the Taekwondo heats obviously...



Special thanks to Tamar for being a lovely distraction during these long summer days and to Transworld for sharing "The War of the Wives" with our readers.

How to win "The War of the Wives":
Please tell us what distracts you the most from being productive. (One entry per person.) Please include your e-mail address or another way to reach you if you win.

Giveaway ends August 20th at midnight EST.


32 comments:

Kritter said...

The most distracting thing I have right now is finishing up wedding plans!

kdurham2@gmail.com

StereoQueenBee said...

The need for sleep! Being pregnant is harder than I thought because I'm really used to endless amounts of energy and now I find myself wanting to cat nap three or four hours after I wake up for my day!

queenofcrunk@gmail.com

Bridget O'Neill said...

My daughter! She's a three year old bundle of nonstop energy! Not only am I not productive, I'm completely exhausted at the end of the day!

bjoneill@hotmail.com

Maureen said...

The internet distracts me since there is always something interesting to see.
mce1011 AT aol DOT com

Jessica said...

Haha books distract me the most from being productive! I always would much rather read than do anything productive, haha. Oh well, I don't think it's a bad thing. ;]

Thanks so much!

-Jessica M
walkingcorpse11@hotmail.com

DD said...

The one thing that distracts me more than anything (food included!) is stinkin' Pinterest! If only the pins I've pinned could magically happen in my house in the order I've pinned them, I'd be superwoman!

dawndennis66611 at yahoo dot com

Lilian said...

Twitter is very, very distracting. I can't seem to stop thinking about it, even in the middle of reading a good novel.

lilianxchengATgmail.com

susieqlaw said...

My cell phone!

sendsusanmail AT gmail DOT com

Patricia said...

My grown daughter decides to come in the room to use my computer every time I sit down to read. I warn her that I have already looked at my Facebook so do not distract me from my reading. No such look she interrupts to the point I finally have to tell her to leave the room.
No matter what age they are it keeps happening. In one ear out the other.

plb105o[at]gmail[dot]com

The Every Free Chance Reader said...

I stay at home with my two boys and I'm expecting a daughter in a few months...just about everything distracts me...someone wants something or the boys are wrestling or there's laundry or dishes or internet and fantastic book reviews of books i want to read etc etc ;)

everyfreechance@gmail.com

Krystal Lynn said...

The internet! Facebook, random yahoo stories with vague headlines, messages from friends, etc.

miss_kris_11 (at) yahoo (dot) com

Linda Kish said...

We have six dogs that are constantly wanting out. Because of crabby neighbors, we can't have a doggy door so I have to get up to let them out. And, do you think they would all want out at the same time? Of course not.

lkish77123 at gmail dot com

Sherry said...

Reading blogs and checking out Pinterest seems to swallow up whole evenings for me.

Margaret Literary Chanteuse said...

Well two things really my kids who keep me busy and spending too much time on the computer lol!

Margaret
singitm(at)hotmail(dot)com

Margie said...

I spend too much time looking at book blogs! But I really enjoy it.
Thanks for the giveaway.
mtakala1 AT yahoo DOT com

Lissette Martinez said...

Facebook and Twitter!! I'm an addict! and I forgot to read.. Can't do anything productive there.. lol
lissette_125 at hotmail dot es

Na said...

The internet is distracting. It can be a great source of information but along with that comes the many distractions.

Cambonified{at}yahoo{dot}com

Anonymous said...

Reading Tamar Cohen's amazing book of course! Oh I have work to do but I'll just read one more chapter... ok, just one more then I'll start...! Please let me have the next one - I've read 'The Mistress's Revenge' twice already!!!

natalie@nataliecorner.orangehome.co.uk

Nova said...

The most distracting thing in my life is being sick with Crohn's disease...never know what the day will be and sometimes not very productive. My two youngest went back to school this week.

Kristilyn (Reading In Winter) said...

Great giveaway!

I think my biggest distraction is Twitter and my Google Reader! Especially today. :)

readinginwinter(AT)gmail(DOT)com

karenk said...

a great posting...thanks for the chance to read this novel.

distraction...maybe reading...to much ;)

i'm a follower, too

karenk
kmkuka at yahoo dot com

Leslie (Under My Apple Tree) said...

Oh that's easy... The Internet! I go to the computer to check one thing and an hour later I'm still there. Like right now. It can be a real time sink.

undermyappletree at gmail dot com

Anita Yancey said...

What distracts me most is TV, my computer, my kindle , and books. If it wasn't for these things, I could get so much in my life done. But things could be worse. Please enter me. Thanks!

ayancey(at)dishmail(dot)net

Amber @ A Little Pink in the Cornfields said...

I get distracted by anything and everything! The biggest are Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. I don't even want to know how many minutes I waste on those sites!

missamberljohnson at gmail dot com

rubynreba said...

I get distracted when I walk by my computer and think I need to check my emails!

pbclark(at)netins(dot)net

Jeryl M. said...

The computer distracts me the most. Between blogging, and e-mail and surveys and everything else I could literally spend every moment on the computer if I let myself.

jeryl.marcus@gmail.com

Unknown said...

Two things distract me right now: getting the dog brushed. She's shedding! and the Internet..check every Blog I follow, Reviews of Books,Pintrest and so much more..
The book sounds good! (distract me from the Heat).
Cyndee Thomas
cyndee.thomas0@gmail.com

Kat said...

A good book distracts me from being productive

k_duncan21@yahoo.com

bn100 said...

The internet

bn100candg(at)hotmail(dot)com

Twisty J said...

Oh, boy. I feel like I am distracted by something no matter what I am doing. But, I suppose reading would be the top culprit. Although, I do feel like making it through a book is quite productive in the end!

twistingthelens@gmail.com

leonel said...

another one for the internet!

leonelescota at g mail

Jilleen said...

Everything distracts! At home, I have to say it is email, good book, talking to friends and neighbors. At work....all the people I supervise and endless meetings!

This book looks so good! Thanks

Seasidebooknook at yahoo