Social Media Burnout?


I’ve actually started to get back to normal. Over the weekend I checked FaceBook at least 6 times. I responded to Tweets, and caught up with some e mails. I read some blog posts, responded to blog comments and even managed a FaceBook status update lol. But this got me thinking…

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How Do You Refer To Your Partner?


A recent post by the lovely Bridget Whelan got me thinking….

Bridget’s post, A Twitter Confession referred back to a post she made last year on how she didn’t follow people who referred to their husbands as “The Hubster”. This recent post was a retraction of her original comments, and honestly Bridget, I didn’t take offence :)

You see, those of you who have been following this blog for a while will know that I always refer to my husband as The Hubster. The reason being that when I started this blog I needed something to use in place of “The Husband” because that, to me, sounds too formal, and that’s not how I talk. I always say that I am the same on my Blog and Facebook as I am in real life, so why use a reference that I wouldn’t normally use in my real life, unless I was putting on my posh voice ;)

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So what other words used to describe husbands (and equally wives) have I seen/heard? These are the ones that came to mind:

Hubby
Hubster
Significant Other
Him/Her Indoors (usually pronounced ‘im or ‘er)
Hero
DH (Darling/Dear Husband or Designated Hitler)
LOML (Love Of My Life)
My Man
Other Half
BF or GF (Boyfriend/Girlfriend)
The Moose (yes, seriously!)
Mr/The Mrs

And one of my favourites, used by Mills & Boon author Kate Walker The Babe Magnet *sniggers*

Don’t even get me started on the “pet names” I’ve heard people use in public for each other lol. In our house the closest thing to a pet name is “pickle” & “pumpkin” and both are used exclusively for the cats and dog ;)

I guess that I could just use his name, but, I don’t feel too comfortable with that, what with this blog being public. It’s not really my right to do that is it?

So Mr Thompson, if you’re reading this, how would you prefer to be referred to?

And how do you refer to your partner (male or female) online? Any good ones I’m likely to steal to use in my fiction ;)

Reflections on Swanwick #Swanwick65


Well I’m home! Lol

As you can imagine this past week has given me a lot to think about, and when I got home my feedback on “Tangled” from the RNA New Writers scheme was sitting on my desk. I haven’t had time to go through it all yet, so I’ll post about that next week :)

So where do I start?

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I love Swanwick, but it’s always nice to get back. I’m a real homebird at heart and I feel incredibly lucky when I hear writers at the school say its so nice to be around people who they can talk to about their writing. The Hubster is very supportive and I realise that there are many writers out there who don’t have someone who is prepared to read their work out loud to them (for example) to help edit it.

I really do value every moment I’m there, but, it is incredibly exhausting and it’s only a couple of days before I start falling asleep in lessons :( (my apologies to any tutors who may be reading this who noticed me dropping off). I’m ok if I have to participate, but if I’m listening to a talk, it doesn’t matter how interesting it is, I’m dropping off (this is what happens when you only have 5 hours sleep a night!). I think the only night I was up past 11pm was on the Buskers night! :( Even if I do stay up, I’m still up between 5 and 6 so even more nodding goes on the next day *sighs*

Being a Steward the past couple of years I find myself talking to lots of newbies, aka “white badgers” and I was amazed to hear this year the amount of people say they will be back next year but will only do 2 or 3 days, because…..it’s exhausting. One lady said to me that she couldn’t afford Swanwick and a holiday, so this was her holiday this year. She was disappointed that she didn’t get any free time, and felt a complete wreck! Yes, I know we always say…. “you don’t have to do everything on the programme.” But, unfortunately, there is always so much great stuff to do you can’t help yourself.

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See what I mean?

A couple of people suggested to me that dinner should be an hour earlier (at 6) and hence all the evening events an hour earlier. One lady said she was disappointed that she hadn’t been able to take part in the Buskers night because it was just too late after a full days worth of dashing about. I’m wondering if we could just have 1 lesson in the morning and 1 in the afternoon? I know a lot of people want to get the most out of their time there, but, if it means newbies aren’t coming back because they know how rough they will feel for a week afterwards, is it worth it? Another lady said to me she would have liked to see “Time for you” on every single day, for at least an hour. Perhaps getting rid of the 1 hour workshops at 4pm is the answer? Is there only so much information you can take in before you start to go brain dead?

I dunno, I’m not a committee member, so who knows what next year will bring. I just hope all the people I spoke to will write their thoughts on the feedback questionnaire that we hand in at the end of the week. It will be interesting to see what transpires….

As for me, I’m slowly recovering (it usually takes me about a week) and the weekend will be spent unpacking and wading through the washing (mine and the stuff the family didn’t get around to doing) and catching up with your comments, e mails, Twitter and Facebook. I’ll start wading through the backlog of Blogs I need to read starting Monday :)

So a HUGE thank you to this years committee, who work tirelessly to make Swanwick – The Writers Summer School what it is. It was great to meet up with people I haven’t seen for a year, and meet others who I hope to see next year. I can’t imagine not attending Swanwick and now begins the 11 month count down *sniggers*

Swanwick Day 4 – #swanwick65


After breakfast this morning we were treated to Michael O’Byrne interviewing Jon Wood, Editorial Director at publishers Orion. He gave us lots of interesting information, but one of the things I was really pleased to hear was that Orion have employed an editor specifically to search out new indie authors who have published via Kindle. They read the extracts and download the books….ooooooo ;)

Someone then asked him why they should switch from being self published via e books to signing with Orion if they were approached. His answer…. “A 100 thousand pound cheque!” wouldn’t that be nice?

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So today was supposed to be a “chillin” day, and I’d intended to catch up with my blog comments and FaceBook. But when the lovely Rae suggested a shopping spree, I jumped at the chance. We spent a few hours at the local outlet centre where I bought a few bits *coughs* and when we got back there was a nice cup of tea waiting for us courtesy of the Hayes staff :)

Then it was off to my meeting with Meg *gulp*

I wasn’t nervous until about 20 minutes before hand, but then my stomach began to churn.

What can I tell you? I can’t really remember what she said myself lol ;) Ok, she doesn’t think I should give up on it and take up crochet, but she did say, and I quote, “it’s going to be a bastard to write!” I laughed and said don’t I know it! She hinted at which version she liked and asked me why i want to write this novel…an interesting question and made me realise that what im actually doing is trying to rewrite my own history with a happy ending. the trouble is, my real story hasn’t ended yet…..

I’m feeling a bit more positive about it now, but I need to think….I’ll share more when I get home as my heads still realing a bit.

Tonight’s speaker is short story writer Zoe Lambert but I’m not attending. I’m going to go and find a quiet corner and do some brainstorming about the novel (I always end up missing 1 of the speakers each year, and usually regret it!).

Later we’ll be watching the plays written by fellow students in Write, Camera, Action. Looking forward to that :)

Have you ever asked yourself WHY you’re writing the novel/story?

Swanwick Day 2 – #swanwick65


Firstly, I must apologise for being so behind in replying to your comments. I’ve got a couple of free hours on Tuesday so will catch up then.

I was up early, as ever this morning, so I sat on a bench with my cup of tea and did some writing :)

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My first session this morning was with James Moran (can you tell I’ve got the iPad working now lol) and was a session on Screenwriting. So many people have said to me I should consider writing scripts, but I’m scared shitless! ;) James makes it sound so easy. His class was very informative, and he’s a man after my own heart, believing that, when you’re writing don’t look back over what you’ve written, get to the end before you start editing!

After a short break for tea it was off to a class in Literary Fiction with Alexa Radcliffe-Hart where we did a fantastic exercise that stemmed from a prompt we were given. I ended up creating a character who was paralysed in a hospital.

Lunch (roast beef of course!) and then more Screenwriting followed by a workshop with the lovely Marion Hough entitled Promoting Your Work. Ok, so I’m not published, but I still found it interesting! I didn’t realise Waterstones (here in the UK) will take your self published books but take 40% of the sale price as a fee. Worth it or not I wonder?

A FaceBook party on the lawn was the highlight of the day…putting faces to names was wonderful :)

Fish and chips for dinner and then a talk by Syd Moore who was absolutely fascinating as she explained her inspiration for her books and gave us background info on her research. I love the idea of taking a real life event and fictionalising it.

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Right, I’m off to the Buskers night in a sec….it goes on until 12.30, but I’m not too sure I’ll make it to the end ;)

Swanwick Day 1 #swanwick65


Road trip went well and we arrived at The Hayes Conference center in brilliant sunshine, so had lunch on a bench by the lake (who knew that ducks don’t like Tuna Melt?).

Got my room key, unpacked and spent the rest of the afternoon doing my stewarding bit on reception.

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Then it was off to the White Badge reception. The thing i love (or one of the many) about Swanwick is how special they make newbies feel. Managed to put faces to a couple of names id seen on FaceBook then it was off to the welcome speech, then dinner, then the guest speaker.

I was really looking forward to hearing James Moran speak, as im a bit of a Dr Who fan, and he really didn’t disappoint! :)

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He was really informative and funny. I made loads of notes. But the one thing he said that really hit home was….Stop Making Excuses! If you say you don’t have time to write, don’t, give up then and let somebody else have a go. Harsh? Yeah, but when you consider he was working full time, 9-5 and he was still able to write, well, you either make time, or you don’t….your choice! If you want to write, you’ll find the time….simple!

I think thats a very good point…i will never moan again :)

Back in my room now chilling, as it all kicks off tomorrow good and proper ;)

I seem to have a problem with my iPad, it wont connect to the internet *sobs* So thank goodness for my phone! :)

Writing Blogger Challenge Day 8


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Day eights prompt is:

Post about your writing routines / rituals / habits or quirks – or – your writing origins story

Well, I’ve told the story of my writing origins, so I guess today I’ll be revealing my routines ;)

I start every single day with a cup of tea, 3 sugars (I’ve cut down, it used to be 4 lol) and a cigarette. I’m the kind of person who is usually fully awake from the moment my eyes open. Yep, I’m one of those annoying people who jumps out of bed at 7am and is raring to go before I’ve even uttered my first word lol. So it makes sense that my most productive writing time is in the mornings.

Whilst drinking my tea I check my e mails, log into FaceBook and generally have a mooch around online (whilst trying to entertain Albie by multitasking with one hand on the iPad, the other on ‘teddy’).

I always start any writing session by writing in my journal, doing a prompt in my notebook, or, as recently, doing my morning pages. I prefer to write by hand than use a keyboard so doing something with pen and paper first makes me feel more connected, gets the creative juices flowing if that makes sense.

I went through a phase where I used to light a smelly candle as I sat down at my desk, but I don’t do that so much anymore, especially now that I’m back at the dining room table (Albies not allowed upstairs just yet). I also like to make sure I have a good selection of pens before I start. Different colours and nib widths, so that my notebooks are visually interesting.

And that’s it really :) If I get really involved in a session I like to have a Nescafé Cappucino in a Starbucks mug by my side, or if I’m out and about, a skinny latte ;)

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(My Starbucks mug collection – cappuccinos in anything else just isn’t the same lol)

Do you have any writing routines/rituals?

Writing Blogger Challenge Day 6


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Today’s prompt is:

Profile 4 Writing Websites / Blogs that you read regularly

Ok, this was hard lol. I read so many fantastic blogs, so if you asked me this question next week, or next month, the answer could be completely different lol. But, today, these are the 4 that spring to mind…

The Write Practice always gives me an eclectic mix of interesting posts. I have a whole folder on my email where I keep them for future reference.

Joanne Phillips is an inspiration! Since finding her blog last year I have followed her journey from writer to “Indie Author” and I’m a huge fan. This one is a must for anyone considering going down the Kindle route with their novel.

Hunters Writings just had to be on my list. Hunter Emkay (who created this challenge) always has interesting writing related posts and what I especially like is that she always includes lots of links in her posts (thanks Hunter, I think, but you don’t help with my procrastination! Lol).

And last, but definitely not least, Morgen Bailey who has so many blogs I can hardly keep up with it! ;) Seriously, this woman wears me out just reading what she’s up to! She runs online writing groups (on FaceBook and WordPress), has critique groups, author guests, writing tips, podcasts, and manages to post her own fiction! Morgen, do you sleep? ;) Seriously, if you’re not subscribed to at least one of her blogs, why not? ;)

Right, I think that’s it at the moment. Hope you decide to have a look at some of these.

Disclaimer: I hold no responsibility if subscribing to these blogs means you get less writing time ;)

Go on, give me a link (am I gunna regret this? Lol) direct me to a writing blog you read daily….

Faber Session 24 – Writing From Life


Ok, lets get the cake porn out of the way first lol. Those of you on Facebook will have already seen this, but I’m sure you’ll cope with a second dose of Maple & Pecan Pie with Creme Fraiche ;)

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Ok, so it wasn’t strictly cake, but I needed something hard core to cope with the evening ahead lol

Tonight’s class was all about Memoir. Not one of my fellow 11 students are writing a real memoir, but we discovered that a few of us are writing about themes and other stuff that is part of our own lives.

Some of my notes:

Is writing about your own life (fictionalising it) cheating?

There is a part of us that can relate to everything. All the characters we create are a part of us as they come from inside our heads.

Should writers have therapy to understand themselves better?

Investigate things that intrigue you, be curious, observe, have new experiences.

No ones life is dull. We all have experiences we can draw on.

Take the time to talk to people, ask them about their lives.

Every writer leaves parts of themselves in each of their novels.

Then it was time for my critique….shall I keep you in suspense? Ok, what I will say is that it was very positive, but there are some problems….but more about that on Wednesday for my IWSG post :)

So do you feel that you leave parts of yourself inside every novel you write? I know I do ;)

Must Do’s 25th Feb to 3rd March


Apologies to those of you who have already seen this post. They’ve changed the way the WordPress App works on my iPad, so when I asked this post to be scheduled, oh no, WordPress decided to post it instead :(

After my mini melt down, last week was a bit more productive :)

1. Catch up with 100K. Sort of lol…I’m still ahead of schedule, but have missed a few days. I’m really missing my daily prompts that’s for sure ;)
2. Faber homework. Yep! lots of reading for the critiques and editing my submission. I sent that over yesterday afternoon.
3. Catch up with Blogs and e mails etc. I did, lol, but it’s so easy to get behind again :( What I’ve decided to do is allocate two half days a week. I think that might work lol
4. Tidy desk. Done!
5. Finish book. Done and I’ve started a new one.
6. Do some studying. I did, but I need to get into a regular routine. I still have so much to learn ;)

So what am I up to this week?

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I’ve also got to send my payment off to the RNA Conference and sort out my application for Swanwick. Hubby is out at a chess match all day Saturday so I’m planning a Mini Retreat :)

What are your writing plans for the week?