Out of My Comfort Zone

I’ve written on my blog before about how I love to learn new things. I’ve lost count of the courses I’ve attended over the years, from recognising antiques to ribbon Christmas tree ornaments, from silver clay to glass bead making, lino print to spiritual poetry. This weekend I went on the first part of a course to learn how to French polish (furniture not nails).

I think it’s important to remind myself of the emotions and feelings evoked by different situations, so that I can use them in my writing – I got a full range on Saturday! To begin with, I felt strange going out in old clothes and wearing no jewellery (a safety stipulation for the course). I got lost, hot and bothered trying to find the venue, as roadworks rendered my sat nav useless. I arrived just in time, but flustered.

There was a mix of male and female attending the course at a woodwork school. We’d been asked to take a couple of items to work on – I’d sourced a box from a charity shop for £2.99, another from an antiques fair and a table from a dealer for £15 (he gave me a huge discount without me even asking when I mentioned the course).

Naively, I hadn’t anticipated the sheer physical effort involved in preparing the wooden items for finishing. My shoulder ached, the tutor kept pointing out bits I’d missed, I felt under pressure and slow. (All emotions recorded in my notebook for future use lol)

It took all day to chemically treat and scrape off old varnish and polish, then sand the surfaces of my items. I was exhausted by the end of the course and I need a manicure, but definitely a different day! Next week, we tackle the staining and polishing part of the course!

In other news, last week saw authorly excitement when my advance author copy of the paperback of The Truth Lies Buried arrived (actually on Valentine’s Day). I spent a good while stroking the embossing on the front of the cover. It is lovely to be published in any medium, but to actually hold your story in your hands is wonderful. Thank you as always to Choc Lit for making my dream come true.


The Truth Lies Buried is already available as an ebook and is published as a paperback and audiobook on 12 March 2019.

Blurb, cover and buying links below:-

Two children in a police waiting room, two distressed mothers, a memory only half remembered …

When Jenny Simpson returns to the seaside town of Borteen, her childhood home, it’s for a less than happy reason. But it’s also a chance for her to start again.

A new job leads to her working for Carver Rodgers, a man who lives alone in a house that looks like it comes from the pages of a fairy tale – until you see the disaster zone inside …

As Jenny gets to know Carver she begins to unravel the sadness that has led to his chaotic existence. Gradually they realise they have something in common that is impossible to ignore – and it all links back to a meeting at a police station many years before.

Could the truth lie just beneath their feet?

The Truth Lies Buried is available from all eBook platforms – Choc LitAmazon KindleKobo, Apple iBooks. This will be available as a paperback and audiobook from 12 March 2019.

TTLB Spread


Thank you for visiting my blog – Morton S. Gray – Author. I hope you enjoyed this post. You can also find me on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Christmas at Borteen Bay is available now as both an eBook and audio download – Amazon Kindle, Audio, Apple iBooks, Kobo and Choc Lit for other buying options.

The Truth Lies Buried is available from all eBook platforms – Choc LitAmazon KindleKobo, Apple iBooks. This will be available as a paperback and audiobook from 12 March 2019.

The Girl on the Beach published by Choc Lit is available as a paperback and from all eBook platforms – Amazon Kindle, Apple iBooks, Kobo, Barnes and Noble and Google Play.


By Morton S. Gray

Author of romantic suspense novels. http://mortonsgray.com


  1. The course looks like fun. I love repainting furniture with chalk paints – a bit less sanding!

    Congrats on the book. A knobbly cover is the best. Hope it smells good too!

    Anita Faulkner. X

    Liked by 1 person

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