I Used To Write…..


Some of you may remember my review of Jeff Goins You Are A Writer e book last month. No? Ok, find it here

Jeff held a competition but I didn’t have the guts to enter lol. A couple of days ago, the winner was announced. Dustin M Smith who blogs at Propensity For Curiosity won with this brilliant video :)

Now, doesn’t that give you a warm and fuzzy feeling? :)

As for me, am I still trying to believe I am a writer? Well, I managed to put it on my Facebook profile, that’s a start isn’t it? Lol ;)

Dustin talks about the fact that what he used to write was safe. Ahhhh, yeah, I think I’m very much the same. There is a lady in my writing class who is writing a novel that is a mixture of 2 different POV’s. When I asked her why, she said she was experimenting. Hmmmmm, I never experiment. So perhaps I should? do you experiment with your writing? And if you do, what kind of things have you tried? *goes off to attempt some deep and meaningful poetry*

Tonight, I’m going to a Nanowrimo event to meet Chris Baty…..yep, IN THE FLESH!

I’m Feeling All Appreciated :)


Oh my :) I am feeling pretty chuffed. The lovely CB Wentworth has nominated me for the Reader Appreciation award, and said some lovely comments about my blog. Thank you so much honey :)

I love this community so goddam much!

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In order to accept this award I need to do the following:

List something you’ve been up to lately
Nominate 6 other blogs

Ok, that’s pretty simple lol….something I’ve been up to lately? Hmmmm….*thinks* ok, harder than I thought, you guys know everything anyway! Lol

Ahhhhh, I have it! :)

Dieting *groan* and very unsuccessfully I might add lol. I mean, how can you write and diet? The connection between tapping away at the Netbook and chocolate seems soooo right, don’t you think? All those coffee shops, lattes, cake, muffins…..mmmmmm :)

The idea of doing my editing whilst munching on carrot sticks is just not doing it for me!

So there, now you have it, I’ve said it, I’m supposedly on a bloody diet, but, it’s not going well lol. I am a member of a gym but I’m just far too busy to go (so I tell myself) ;)

So now for the nominees. This is getting so hard, making sure I don’t nominate someone who has already had the award lol. I’ve had a few new followers recently, so I’m going to nominate my new readers, show my appreciation :)

Paula Acton

Robin Coyle

Rough Wighting

RumpyDog

Silverfox @ SpecialSpice

Just Coop It

Do check out these wonderful bloggers who have just started reading my posts. Thanks guys, you’re brilliant, all of you :)

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This post got me thinking….. What’s your favourite writing snack? The thing you love to nibble on whilst you’re tapping away on those keys? And the first person to say carrot sticks will also get a filthy look ;) lol. The picture above is of one on my favourites….little cheesy biscuits *dribbles* lol

The Lonely Hunter


Today’s guest is a prolific short story writer who is currently working on her first novel. Please welcome Gail Aldwin who blogs at The Writer Is A Lonely Hunter

How did you know you wanted to be a writer?
I’ve dabbled with writing several times and I studied for an MA at Sussex University which involved writing a travel book about the pilgrim route across northern Spain to Santiago de Compostela. Every time I seemed to be getting somewhere with my writing, life intervened in the form of pregnancies, additional work responsibilities, or moving house. I started writing again three years ago, when the promotion I’d set my heart on didn’t come through and my colleague was appointed. To save myself weeks of reliving the interview and to contain my envy, I began to write a book about back-packing in Australia. I joined a writing group which kept me focussed and I’ve now drafted on my third manuscript. Like many people, I always thought there was a book in me and because I don’t consider myself to be articulate, writing gives a form of expression that enables me to be spontaneous and fluent. I write because I find it hard to talk about the themes I want to share, issues around racism, alcoholism, domestic violence and homelessness. It all sounds very bleak but my characters are resilient.

What genre do you write in?
My novels fall under the category of contemporary women’s fiction. I’d like to move into literary fiction but my writing style will need some improvement to make the transition. I also write flash fiction, complete stories in anything from 75 words up to 1000. I love flash fiction, it’s like an antidote to the slog of completing a novel and I’ve had a few successes in getting work published. You’ll find my stories on line at websites such as Paragraph Planet, Five Stop Story, and Cafe Lit. I also write a regular column for What the Dickens? Magazine that answers writers’ questions.

Do you have a writing schedule, your normal writing day?
I write every day, getting up early in the morning to commit a couple of hours. On days when I’m not working, I also spend a good part of the day at my computer. I watch very little television and that frees up time in the evening for writing.

What’s the best writing environment for you – where you write?
I like writing in a quiet space. I’m not sure what the best writing environment is – I haven’t experimented with this. We have a family study that I share with everyone except my daughter who likes working in her bedroom. My husband and son play games on the desktop and I write on a notebook. Sometimes we sit alongside each other but that’s only possible when the headphones are in use. When I can’t stand the distraction, I work at the kitchen table.

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Who inspires you?
A couple of years ago I read a book called The Museum of Innocence by Orhan Pamuk. It’s set in Istanbul during the 1970s and is a story about obsessive love. I travelled through Turkey during 1981 on a double decker bus heading for to Kathmandu and I was therefore immediately drawn to the story. Pamuk is an intriguing story teller, who features as a minor character within the narrative and using all sorts of devices to hook the reader. I’m amazed at the prose, with one chapter titled ‘Sometimes’ where every sentence begins with this word.

If you were to be compared to another author, who’s work would yours most resemble?
I’d like to write prose as good as Orhan Pamuk, but it’ll take a lot of dedication to get to there. In the meantime, I read the work of debut novelists to check on the competition. One author I’d particularly like to be compared with is Evie Wyld. Her first novel After The Fire A Still Small Voice is set in Australia and she does a wonderful job of intertwining the location with the characters and their motivations. Australia is like a second home, so I’d like to be as good as Evie Wyld in describing the country and the characters in my novel Manipulation

Tell us about your current WIP
I’m currently redrafting my first novel Manipulation ready to submit to a reader for comment as part of the New Writers’ Scheme with the Romantic Novelists’ Association. It’s a story
that explores the challenges of travelling through Outback Australia during the recession of the 1980s for a well-mannered 20-year-old-girl. Committed to making a success of the experience, Helen follows a difficult path and ultimately becomes involved with a manipulative older man. Misunderstanding and confusion force the couple to ricochet around the country until they finally settle in Sydney and address some of the issues in their relationship.

This year I’ve also had short stories included in three print anthologies. Here’s a photo of them.

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I think it’s great the way Gail works with and around the family :) in the evenings I do share my writing space with my husband, but I find it hinders me lol. Have you ever SHARED your writing space with someone else? Did it work?

If you’d like to read my post for the day, pop on over to Gails blog :)

This Weeks Goals 28th to 3rd


Yesterday’s postcard from the Tate prompted a story for me about a guy who had been thrown out of his apartment, on to the street. All he has left in the world is the sofa and some black bags. The question is….why has he been thrown out? I’m kind of thinking along the lines that he’s divorced, and lives with his son. His son has got involved with some very dodgy characters, which has resulted in the fact that he’s taken all his dads money to pay the debts off….and now he’s disappeared……

I’m guest posting today, over at Creative Writing Studies for the lovely Anthony Haynes. Go and have a peek to read me talking about why I blog, and what I LOVE about it! :)

I’ve had a pretty productive week :)

Last weeks goals were:

1. Turn the prologue back into 3rd person (again lol).
DONE!

2. Try to nail chapter one, so that I have something to read out at class on Wednesday night.
DONE!

3. Finish sorting out the formatting/layout of the whole thing.
HALF WAY THROUGH!

4. Have another read through and work on the ending. I think I’ve worked out where I want it to go, I’ve just got to write it now, which means changing stuff in other places. So yep, I’ve been avoiding that lol.
NOT EVEN ATTEMPTED!

Oh dear, well ok, it wasn’t that productive. I don’t know why I’m avoiding it so much. No, yes, sorry, I do….because its hard work, because I’m confused and don’t know exactly what I want to happen, because I know it will mean changing other stuff that I’ve already written :(

So this weeks goals are:

1. Finish sorting out the formatting/layout of the whole thing, and I mean REALLY finish lol.

2. Have another tinker with the Blurb.

3. Try to do something constructive towards the ending, even if it’s only 500 bloody words! Lol.

4. Get Chapter 2 sorted, polished up and in ship shape ;)

I’ve come to the conclusion that overwhelming myself with a to do list doesn’t achieve anything, so I’m trying to be a little easier on myself (ha ha ha).

so what are your writing plans for the week?

My current read, recommended by Jeff Goins

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Picture Postcard & Where I’m Guesting


I’m currently guesting over at Virginias blog Poeta Officium so do pop in and read my “One Most Important Piece Of Advice To Writers”

Now, where was I? Lol

I bought this postcard when I went up to the Tate Modern recently, because it intrigued me :)

It’s acrylic on canvas by a German artist, Martin Kippenberger and is called “Ohne Titel”. I thought initially it was a photograph!

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I wonder what inspired him to paint it?

Would love to hear what story line you can come up with for this one?

I’ll share my ideas tomorrow :)

You Lucky Lucky People!


I’m having so much fun, interviewing people I connect with through my Blog :)

Today we have the lovely CC, who’s blog ccarothers is a mixture of fiction, poetry and observations. A place where she can be creative in whichever form she chooses :)

I interviewed CC and she kindly answered my questions and provided a couple of photographs :)

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How did you know you wanted to be a writer?
Good question. I guess it’s when my need to express myself in story form became hard to ignore. I was messing around writing short stories and found I loved being creative in that way. My life makes better sense to me if I fictionalize the parts I don’t understand. If that makes any sense at all.

What genre do you write in?
Romance. I like to dabble in erotic romance as well. Both genres get a bad rap, but are awesome because you get your happy ending (usually). We need that.

Do you have a writing schedule, whats your normal writing day?
No schedule. If I’m sitting in my office and an idea strikes me, I write. In the morning when I first wake up seems to be when my brain is the most open. I tend to have a lot of ideas. But overall, I write whenever I get the itch to do so.

What’s the best writing environment for you – where you write?
My bedroom! Ha! My bed is comfortable and it’s my favorite place to be in my house.

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Who inspires you?
To write or in general? My mother inspires me to be someone with fortitude.

If you were to be compared to another author, who’s work would yours most resemble?
Um… I can’t think of any author in particular. I’m sure I’m in no way unique in the way I write, but can’t pinpoint an author.

Tell us about your current WIP book?
It’s about a pirate! Haha. It’s probably more of an erotic historical romance. A young, unmarried woman is sent to America because she’s headstrong and smart mouthed. She’s shipwrecked along the way and captured by a pirate. It’s an interesting captivity for her.
Trying to get it all on paper. My muse is fickle. It’s funny, but this story started as a 100 word prompt and morphed into something bigger. I like when that happens.

A huge thank you to CC for being my guest. Please pop over to her wonderful blog and say “Hi”

I have to admit that I haven’t really explored the whole idea of writing in bed….I will definitely be trying it :) Have you ever tried writing in bed?

Why Do We Do It?


There’s been an image floating around Facebook, have you seen it? This one……

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With a bit of investigation, I’ve discovered it’s come from The Weldon Owen Publishing blog and it seems to have inspired lots of debates.

One of my favourite bloggers, Roger Colby featured it on his blog a few days ago, and it made me ask my self the question….. If this writing and publishing malarkey is so goddam hard….why do we do it? Why do we put ourselves through it?

Have you ever asked yourself that question? Or is it just me?

I’ve been doing some Googling lol….from what I can tell (the figures vary) its less than 1% of all manuscripts that get submitted that actually find their way on to our shelves in book form. It’s a tiny amount when you consider the hundreds of thousands of MS’s that must land on agents and publishers desks every day.

So, here’s exactly why I put myself through it.

1. I LOVE writing and I love words

2. It’s escapism, a chance to get away from my own life and envelop myself in someone else’s lol.

3. To get down on paper the thoughts going round in my head.

4. It’s a chance to explore, learn and grow.

5. Because there’s still that tiny piece of me that hopes i might, just might, be in that 1% *snigger*

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So I’m determined to stay positive, determined to continue on my writing journey, and if I never get published, so be it….I’m doing something I really enjoy :)

So why do you do it?

Fascination…..


Firstly, thank you Sooo much for all the comments on my Blurb post yesterday. I really do appreciate your thoughts and will be working on it again this coming week. Thank you all :)

Right, on with the business!

I have a fascination lol…..I love seeing where other writers work. I know, I know, a bit creepy? Lol….noooo, I’m just nosey, aren’t all writers? Lol ;)

When I decided to open up my blog to guests I decided that I needed something to link all these lovely people together, soooo, I thought, hey, I’d love to see where my followers (and people I follow) do their writing. It’s proving to be such an interesting exercise :)

My first guest is Josh Mosey a writer who runs his own marketing business and works in a bookstore (I am sooooo jealous of that last bit!!!!! Lol)

I’ve only recently been introduced to Josh, but I’m looking forward to getting to know him better :)

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How did you know you wanted to be a writer?
Writing snuck up on me. It started with a story I wrote at work while I was bored and blossomed into a goal with encouragement from some of my writer friends. Although, in retrospect, I was setting myself up to be a writer by working in a bookstore. There is nothing like being surrounded by books.

What genre do you write in?
I started by writing humorous flash fiction at Thom & Tom, but when my writers group Weaklings decided to participate in the 3-Day Novel Contest, I decided to try my hand at a novel-length dystopian story. The result was the first draft of my novel, Silent, which is set in a future where sound is illegal. Since then, I’ve dabbled in Historical Fantasy and YA Fantasy.

Do you have a writing schedule, your normal writing day?
I try to write on my blog every morning after my wife leaves for work and before I do. Then, once or twice a week I’ll slip off to a coffee shop near my house and do some writing on my WIP. I try to get at least 700 words down on my novel when I work on it, and my blog posts are anywhere between 400 and 1,000 words. I try not to let my writing life take precedence over my wife though. I’d rather be known as a good husband than a good writer. (Vikki nods in approval)

What’s the best writing environment for you – where you write?
It depends on what I’m writing. For my blog, I sit in my living room and work from my couch. For my novel, I need longer chunks of uninterrupted time than I can comfortably take at my house (where I’d rather be spending time with my wife and daughter or trying to take care of things like dishes or laundry). So, I go down the road to Biggby Coffee where I can be surrounded by life and little noises without any of those noises trying to distract me. While I write, I typically listen to music (Frightened Rabbit is a favorite of mine).

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Who inspires you?
I love the writings of Kurt Vonnegut for his wry, black humor. I love J.R.R. Tolkien for his depth and thoroughness. I love Edward Gorey for his strangeness. And I love Terry Pratchett for his satire. I am also inspired by history. When I was doing research for one of my stories, I fell in love with Quentin Roosevelt, the son of US President Theodore Roosevelt. Also, the Vikings.

If you were to be compared to another author, who’s work would yours most resemble?
I like to think that my voice is similar to Terry Pratchett’s, though my subject matter isn’t satiric in nature.

Tell us about your current WIP/recently published book?
I’m working on the second draft of my YA Fantasy novel. The working title is Daniel O’Ryan and the Tree of Life.

My main character is Daniel O’Ryan. At fourteen years old, he’s one of the oldest boys at Stockton’s Home for Disadvantaged Boys.

He was dropped off as a baby at the orphanage by his father, a fallen angel. His mother was killed in an attack by the angel Gabriel, who sought to fulfill his ancient charge to kill the Nephilim. After dropping him off at Stockton’s, Daniel’s father disappears.

Now, fourteen years later, strange things are happening to Daniel. First, there’s his new school, the prestigious Blackwood Academy. Mysterious forces are at work in bringing Daniel and his best friend, roommate and fellow orphan, Ian Langston, to Blackwood.

Freshman year is hard enough, but at the new school, Daniel and Ian make few friends.

When Daniel accidentally throws the star of the rugby team, Hunter Garrison, across the locker room just days before the homecoming match, things look very dim. And when Daniel is completely unharmed after Hunter drops him from the roof of the school, he starts to question his own sanity.

Fortunately, Daniel receives guidance from teacher and angel, Abdiel, who explains the truth about who Daniel is and what he can do. And what’s more, Daniel has a chance to rescue his father from a fate worse than death and restore the family that he’s wanted for so long.

But before he can save anyone, Daniel has a lot to learn about himself and his abilities (360 degree visibility, lightening speed, sonic attacks, heightened strength, and built-in shadow armor). With the help of his friends, the Undesirables, and his teacher, Abdiel, Daniel begins the quest to find and recover the fruit of the tree of life from the long-lost Garden of Eden, the only thing that may help his father.

That’s the plot of book one. Daniel’s story will span three books, and I sincerely hope that you’ll see the whole series on bookstore shelves soon.

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So it seems that Josh is a huge fan of the coffee shop. Do you ever write in a coffee shop? Do you find it inspiring? I love to free write in coffee shops, but I find I get easily distracted lol.

if you’d like to see my post for today nip on over to Josh’s Blog where I’ll be talking about The Insecure Writers Support Group :)

I’m Kreativ I Am!


As you know, I don’t usually post twice a day, but this post has been waiting in the wings for such a long time now :( My apologies to the lovely Chris xx

Chris over at The Kelworth Files has nominated me for The Kreativ Blogger Award :)

Thank you so much Chris!

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KREATIV RULZ:
1. Thank and link back to the awarding blog.
2. Answer the seven questions.
3. Provide ten random factoids about yourself.
4. Last but not at all least, hand this on to seven deserving others.

I’m going to use the 7 questions Chris answered, so here goes……

1. What’s your favourite song?
Spooky, I was asked this recently, on my birthday post. The answer is Wonderwall by Oasis followed by All I Want Is You by U2…..I want them both played at my funeral ;)

2. What’s your favourite dessert?
Tiramisu, but it use to be Ben & Jerry’s Chubby Hubby ice cream. They don’t sell it here in the UK anymore :(

3. What do you do when you’re upset?
Cry lol….I cry very easily. I’m the sort of person who finds it hard to hide how I’m feeling. My face usually gives away exactly how I feel lol.

4. Which is your favourite pet?
That’s really not fair :( I’ve had lots of animals over the years and they’ve all been very special to me, in their own way :) I could never pick a favourite.

5. Which do you prefer, black or white?
Black, definitely!!!! I think I should have been a Goth lol

6. What is your biggest fear?
I often have nightmares, and they’re usually about bad things happening to my pets, my kids, or my husband. I’ve often woken up in the middle of the night in a panic, or in tears because I’m convinced something has happened. I never have nice dreams lol

7. What is your attitude mostly?
Lol, ahhhhh, well, I think most people who know me would say I’m friendly, chatty and generally good natured. I have my moments of doom and gloom and I’m sure my hubby would say I’m a stroppy cow sometimes, but, I try to not let the little things get me down too much. I always say, if you don’t laugh, you’ll cry, and I try to live by that :)

I’m gunna bend the rules a bit because I’ve bored you all a bit too much with facts about me recently lol. So I’ll skip that next part and just plough straight on to who I’m gunna pass this on to ;)

The 7 bloggers who I am going to nominate are all very inspirational….please go and visit their sites, you might just like what you see :)

Hunter at Hunters Writings

Rebecca at A Word Or More

Ayesha Schroeder

Elliott at Brainsplats

Jordanna at journeyofjordannaeast

Shannon at shannonhowell

William at Stadler Style

Love you guys! :)

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The Blooming Blurb


*sighs deeply*

Ok, so I’ve been working on my blurb for “But Not Forgotten” recently, and the current version is below…..See what you think…..

Married to successful accountant Daniel, Laura has it all. A nice house, nice car and money in the bank. But when Daniel kills himself, the events of 1984 re-emerge, threatening everything Laura holds dear, including her daughter Ruby.

Ruby and Laura need to learn how to rebuild their lives. But Daniel’s brother Ronnie tries everything in his power to reek revenge on his brother, and those he loved. Laura finds herself torn between the two brothers. Will she be able to throw everything away, to rekindle her love for Ronnie? And if she can, how will she cope with Daniel still controlling her from beyond the grave?

The Write Inspiration posted an excellent article recently, giving advice for blurb writing. Do have a read if you’re struggling like I am lol

So is it too short? Rubbish? Ok? Your thoughts would be much appreciated :)

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My orchid is blooming, my blurb, unfortunately, isn’t lol ;)