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Best Gift Ideas For Writers

If you want to give the writer in your life something different this year (I mean pens and notebooks are great...but...) I have the answer!

Give them the gift of knowledge and experience with the Make Your Book A Reality masterclass membership, for only £37 a month the writer in your life can get the how, what and why to the fourteen questions they need to know to write, edit, publish and market their own book.

With a rolling monthly contract you can choose how long you want to gift their membership.

Masterclass Membership £37 a month - Eden Gruger

This inspirational writer's notebook is unlike the others! write in a paperback book alongside inspirational quotations from successful authors. Experience the joy and satisfaction of seeing your words inside a book with the best of the crop.

The Writer's Inspirational Notebook By E. Gruger


Apologies, puppies & internet

A certain puppy has decided to chew through my power cable, and I am waiting for a new one to appear via the wobbly web.  Normal service will resume Thursday (everything crossed) - what have you been doing?

TTFN Eden :-)

Inspiration Forum interview

A massive thank you to Fiona Mcavie for a great interview, and a really fast turn around! Don't forget to leave both Fiona and me and comment on your thoughts x

TTFN Eden :-)

First aid, Frisbees & Festivals

Picture it, a hot summers day at a festival, dancing, flirty, laughing in a clearing in the crowd, when I got hit in the head by a frisbee travelling at full speed. Everything stopped, it took a full minute for me to realise that my head hurt, a lot.

Being overly conscious of not wanting to look like a total idiot, I decided to style it out by appearing not to notice what had happened. This involved standing straight up staring blankly into the crowd (I may need to work more on being casual cool), whilst people close enough to see what had happened gathered around me to check that I was ok. Until the crowd dispersed, I kept saying with a laugh, wasn’t that hilarious?

After they have gone, I admit to my friends that my head really does hurt a lot, and not in a fun way, and that I am pretty sure that I have concussion. In a strange twist we were all sober enough to know that we wouldn’t be able to go to the hospital as we were all over the drink drive limit, but were all too inebriated to consider the first aid tent.

Let me know what you think -

TTFN Eden :-)

Doner Kebabs & heart attacks

Another day, another Doner, my confession to you is that I live in London, and I have never actually tried a doner kebab, never even been tempted not when drunk or when insanely hungry.  There may even be people reading this who have never even seen one.  Let me explain, imagine how you would draw a leg of lamb for a medieval banquet - bear with me, and then imagine it upside down, and that it is all light brown and wet look shiny.  Finally imagine it rotating, slowly.  This is a Doner kebab.  It is a marriage of meat scraps welded together with fat, doesn't that sound appetising? Husband said that his friend used to treat himself to one after a hard weeks work, I asked which of his friends this was? 'Oh you don't know him' he said, 'he died of a heart attack'.

Why am I explaining this to you? because today I am having the wealthy cousin of the aforementioned Doner - the Chicken Shish, chunks of chicken breast, peppers, mushrooms and onions on skewers and grilled over a barbeque grill.  So I am able to tell myself that grilled meat, and vegetables, especially when served with salad is a healthy option.

This is very much like life as a whole, in any situation you can make whatever choices you wish, but remember that the treat you believe that you deserve for your efforts can be what ends up killing your spirit (if not your body).  Maybe the real treat is looking after yourself, being your own carer and cheerleader - at - all - times - people - at - all - times.

Take you of yourselves

TTFN Eden :-)

Deafness and accents

Auntie Elda is a lovely person, I think, I say that I think because although I have known her my whole life, I haven’t actually been able to understand anything she has ever said. She has a beautiful, musical Southern Irish accent, it sounds gorgeous, but is absolutely impenetrable thanks to my dodgy hearing.

I think she must think I am quite ‘special’ too, given that I always just nod and agree with everything she has ever said to me, I imagine her going home and saying to my Uncle ahh poor Laura such a shame.

The one upside to this, is that Auntie Elda has always called me by my sister's name, so at least she thinks it is Laura who is the idiot.

Words in Progress Posts

TTFN Eden :-)

Puppies and hotels

Anyone who follows my Facebook page will have noticed that I gave the (probably unnecessary) advice last week, not to take a 17 week old puppy to a hotel – even a dog friendly hotel. Because that is exactly what I did over Easter. It wasn’t entirely through choice you understand; we had a voucher for Christmas that we hadn’t been able to use before pup arrived. Please rest assured that I did tell the hotel when we booked how old pup would be when we came to stay, so they knew what they were letting themselves in for.

When we arrived there was a lovely patio in the sunshine for a leisurely lunch, and no-one looked disapprovingly at the creatures, so that was a good start; even when Mabel started barking at a random tree (in her defence it did look a bit shady…boom boom).
It was later when we got into our room that things became a little more stressful. Despite being outside for two hours, the first thing on our little Prince’s agenda was a massive wee. Which took nearly a whole toilet roll to mop up, who puts carpet in a dog friendly room? We had to have the windows open the rest of the time to try and lessen the smell of boy urine.

Needing to bring in our bags and the doggy crate from the car we left them in the massive bathroom, only to find out on a return no more than seven minutes later; that our Princess had done more poop than she had in the last three weeks up together. And that they had both danced it around the room.

They went into the crate whilst I got to work with the cleaning products.

The rest of the weekend was much easier, with only a fall into a swamp, and a nose bleed on the white duvet cover to contend with…. How was your Easter?

TTFN Eden :-)

Planning an Indie Book Launch

Oh my goodness, my head is pounding, my shoulders ache from hunching over the keyboard - it must be official book launch time!!

I have chosen Jo's bookshop, a fabulous local independent book shop in Station Road, Chingford, E4.  Jo and Pam will be playing hostesses to the guests at the official launch of Down With Frogs by my own lovely self.

Whilst I hand out Mocktails and gift bags, give a reading and then sign copies of my book for the lovely guests.

As it is invitation only you will need to email the bookshop to get on the list

I can't wait!! See you there

TTFN Eden :-)

Down With Frogs

Support independent publishing: Buy this e-book on Lulu.
Surprise for the first time in my life I am early! Down With Frogs was due to be released on 28th August - but here is it today! 

Click on the blue button above to buy direct from my publisher

This collection of stories contains the humour, heartache and hope of the modern romantic relationship; Told in my easy conversational style.

Both the ebook and the paperback have been designed with a larger font, and wider spacing to be helpful to the dyslexic reader and those with literacy issues. I believe in inclusive - not exclusive

Enjoy! and please don't forget to tell your friends

Now available at, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Apple

---  Paperback coming soon --- 

TTFN Eden :-)

Day out at the STI Clinic

This is Day out at the STI clinic a story from  my first book Down With Frogs, a collection of stories about the frogs you have to kiss before you find your prince or give up looking.

My friend Caroline has led a very sheltered life and has only been with one man who she met at nineteen. She lives through, and for, the next instalment of her Celebrity magazines and soap operas. But, more than celebrity and drama, Caroline finds sex fascinating; other people's sex to be precise. She is intrigued to find out what other people ‘get up to'. She once confided to me that while cooking the nightly dinner she propped her laptop on the kitchen worktop so she could watch porn while getting the dinner done "just to educate myself".

I have tried telling her that porn is nothing like real life, but I don’t think she believes me, and thinks that all single people spend their life bent in funny angles over desks / car bonnets / kitchen worktops etc. having loud, messy orgasms. It isn’t that she would want to have an affair, and I don’t think she is planning to surprise Mr Caroline with some cheeky BDSM roleplay, more like she wishes that she had done a bit more ‘dating' before settling down. I tell you this so that it explains why Caroline thinks that going to be tested for a sexually transmitted disease will be fun. “Oh, can I come with you?” she says, and I can feel her holding her breath as if I have just offered her a spare ticket to the Caribbean or an all-expenses-paid shopping trip to Harrods. I remind her that this visit is needed because I just found out that my last boyfriend was less than faithful, and I want to make sure that he hasn’t left me any other nasty little surprises to be going on with. Now is the time to look after me, and that I'm a little bit scared to think about the possible outcome, ‘of course yes, you are right, how insensitive of me', she consoles. Unfortunately, this contrition only lasts a minute because as soon as I say it would be nice to have someone come to keep me company she gets all carried away again, ‘I hope there will be prostitutes there,’ she claps her hands in gleeful anticipation…

When the day of the appointment arrives we have to climb five flights of stairs to get to the clinic (no lift is available, and I wonder don’t they expect people in wheelchairs to need their services? Or are the stairs some subtle form of punishment to those of us having dodgy encounters? Or maybe they want to tire us out so that we don’t have any energy left for sex). The brightly lit reception area in tones of inoffensive beige with various pot plants and educational posters that remind visitors how important it is to share all the relevant information, and that you can get a free Chlamydia test by post if you are in your teens, is an immediate disappointment to Caroline. ‘What did you expect?’ I enquire shaking my head a little, ‘a line of disapproving medical professionals, all tending to a queue of overly made-up women wearing leather mini-skirts, fishnet tights and stilettos with goldfish in the heels and men with greasy comb-overs?’ Caroline just shrugs and says ‘it looks just like a waiting room', which of course is just what it is. After taking my name, the receptionist hands me a clipboard; the questions begin reasonably safely have you had sex? (Would I be here if I hadn’t?) But they soon enter territory usually only reserved for close friends, what sorts of sex have you had? Oral? Anal? Same-sex partners? Had a tattoo abroad? Used intravenous drugs? Shared needles? Have you had sex for money? Or do you work in the sex industry? Have you had partners without using barrier forms of contraception? Do you have any symptoms? How long since your last sexual health check-up? Phew. Clearly disappointed with the other people in the waiting room (a clean-cut woman in her early twenties reading a handbag sized Cosmo, and a dishevelled man in his late sixties staring into the middle distance). Caroline makes her own entertainment - ‘Go on, say you are a sex worker, let’s see what they do’ she encourages. ‘I can’t help feeling you are not taking this very seriously’ I say quietly, ‘and I don’t think they will do anything other than stick swabs in my every orifice and give me a carrier bag of free condoms’. Unsurprisingly I refuse to pretend to be a sex worker, and with all questions answered the clipboard goes back to the receptionist. After a much longer wait than you would expect with only three people waiting, a doctor calls my name and leads Caroline and me through a security door into a side office.

The doctor looks quizzically at Caroline ‘I need my friend to be with me' I say, and manage not to say ‘this poor woman needs this experience just as much as I do, but for different reasons, so come on let's inject some excitement into her life’. The doctor doesn’t introduce himself which I find a bit rude considering he is about to know more about me than my own family, and how much of me he is going to get to see. Therefore using all my creative capabilities, I call him ‘Dr No Name’. ‘So…’ he fidgets as he glances over my answers and then unnecessarily I think, asks me the questions all over again. I answer them truthfully, he nods with each one but does not comment.

At a previous clinic I went to many years ago after a similar boyfriend debacle, a rotund middle-aged nurse with a massive smile and the tightest curly perm known to womankind, listened to my answers and then gave me a long good-natured lecture about respecting my body and myself, and the dangers of unprotected sex. I guess in the intervening years the focus has changed from ‘look just do what we tell you’, into ‘we won’t tell you what you should do, everyone can do what they want, and no-one is allowed to judge’ – professionally at any rate.
‘Is there anything I haven’t mentioned?’ Dr No Name asks tentatively, I look him straight in the eye and say ‘Anal, you didn’t ask about anal’. He is flustered by this, looking at the paperwork, the screen, back to the paperwork – anywhere but directly at me. He is so uncomfortable, which I would not expect for someone who works here, that I almost want to say ‘it's ok, don't worry about this other stuff. I only came in with a sore big toe, would you rather think about that?' But I don’t. ‘Ah no, ok……’ he pauses and lets the unasked question hang in the air so that he doesn’t have to say the word - ‘No' I say, ‘no anal’.

Now that is over we three traipse to the next room, the one with the bed and the stirrups, which I cannot see the point of as I am quite capable of opening my legs and keeping them open, as being here has proven.

On pulling down my pants, I realised just how long it has been since my last wax, and feel the need to quietly apologise to Caroline about the unkempt nature of my down below. I just know that she is the sort of person who would never miss a waxing appointment because someone offered her coffee and cake and the times clashed, so will be perfectly coiffured in all areas at all times. I do wonder briefly how close friendship should get, but it is far too late to worry about that now that I am trapped here with my lady area catching the breeze, well it would have been if there had been one. At this point a second doctor comes in and introduces herself, she is here to supervise Dr No Name; it doesn’t occur to me at the time to ask why he needs supervision. Sitting on the little stool between my legs he looks like he is about to have a coronary, I have the urge to announce gladiator style ‘Let the examination begin!’ but I don't want him to have unduly shaky hands for the next part.

Without a word he begins, and after quite a few minutes of poking and fiddling around, accompanied by the scraping noise of instruments being opened and closed, he puts down the instruments and pushes his little stool on wheels backwards and disappears through the curtains. That impresses me, because that is just the sort of thing I would like to do – not a gynaecological examination, but finish a meeting by pushing off on my chair on wheels and disappearing backwards through curtains, without saying a word - now that’s what you call an exit. Having wriggled out of the stirrups, I am just getting back into my pants when we hear Dr Two say quietly ‘Umm….I still don't feel completely confident that you can recognise the difference between the urethral and vaginal openings’. Caroline and I turned to stare at each other eyes and mouths wide open stunned and horrified, we dissolved into breath stealing giggles. Somehow, I don't wet myself, although it's a close-run thing.

Despite what has gone before the next bit is where there could be a real problem - it is blood test time. I explain to Dr No Name about my needle phobia and that I will probably cry, which he can ignore; but there is a good chance that I will pass out so if I could lay down this will probably be better. He says nothing but points to the chair that is waiting for all the non-phobic people, he rests my arm on a pillow and gets fiddling about on his table. Instantly queasy I look at the wall trying to make sure I don’t see anything needle-like and begin chattering in Caroline’s direction to try and distract myself while he starts stabbing me with the needle. After several minutes of being injected I am just blacking out when he stops, I manage to say ‘oh thank God that’s over’, and just as I lose consciousness he says ‘I haven’t been able to do it yet, I cannot find a vein’.

I come to with something unusual happening, the usually mild-mannered Caroline is quietly shrieking (no, I didn’t think that was possible either) at Dr No Name ‘you’ve been stabbing around for 5 minutes, my friend has passed out, and now you say you haven’t even done it yet?’ He shrugs and backs out of the room. When he goes I begin to crawl out of the chair, 'that's good I can leave now, he isn’t coming back’ I say. However, now her dander is up, Caroline isn’t wasting any of it, locking me with a steely stare she practically orders me to stay where I am. Once back in position her tone changes back to the soft one that she normally uses with me; she tells me that Dr No Name will be back in just a minute and then it will all be over. Wouldn't it be a shame after all we have been through if we went home now - I am tempted to say ‘it isn't we, it's me,’ but I don't. Dr No Name comes back in and prepares to try again, but Caroline won’t let him near me unless he promises to use a baby-sized needle and he only gets one try. I have never seen her more Amazonian, and as Dr No Name apparently doesn't want to risk what Caroline will do to him if he screws up this time, he very carefully takes my blood, and although I am momentarily relieved, I still pass out again.

Before we even make it back down the five flights of stairs and into the fresh air we have exploded into fits of laughter ‘I am not sure you know which hole is which? Hello! He probably doesn’t even belong in this department if he doesn’t know that!' Which led to speculation on where he really came from, we speculated on what Dr No Name's real job might have been - as a bus driver? gardener? man who usually works behind the coffee bar near A&E? which gives us hysterics. Between snorts, I managed to say ‘I think I know what it was, it’s June it must be work experience week, mine must be the first hoo-ha he has ever seen judging by how scared he was, poor bugger’. Every time we manage to stop laughing something sets us off again, given that he said so little I wonder aloud whether he may have been a Trappist monk.

For months afterwards we can dissolve into laughter with just the merest mention of work experience or doctor's, each setting off the other with our comments ‘at least it won't be such a shock on his wedding night', ‘I wonder if he has had to have therapy?' ‘I wonder if he reliably knows one hole from the other yet?’ 'Did he go back to driving a bus the next day do you reckon?'

Despite being sworn to secrecy, Caroline confessed that she hadn’t been able to contain herself, and only lasted a few days before she caved in and told her husband, Tim, all about it. Tim was very shocked - I suspect he assumed that we spent our time together in benign ways, going shopping or drinking coffee and that our conversations revolved around knitting patterns and recipes. He did not think it was funny, in fact, he was horrified, and I lost the last of my brownie points. Imagine my taking his ‘virgin’ bride (yeah, maybe she was twenty years ago mate - check her browser) to such a place, my misbehaviour sullied her, I was guilty in his eyes even though it was The Plonker who had cheated on me.

In consequence Caroline and I gradually saw less of each other over the next year, slowly the gap between our calls got longer, and the suggestions to meet up got fewer, until one day I realised that we had lost contact altogether, and am pretty sure that this was Tim’s influence but I could be wrong about that. I sometimes think about whether our day out is one of the stories told by Caroline at dinner parties, late in the evening when guests and hosts have consumed too much alcohol. It would be nice to think that I can give joy to my friends (even former friends), and to be able to give a laugh to the wider world is no bad thing.

Oh, and in case you are interested, I got the all clear, no STI's for me.

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Available in paperback and ebook worldwide

TTFN Eden :-)