Coming Out Of My Cave

It’s been a weird week. No, perhaps not weird as such, more like hard lol. It’s been a week today since I gave up smoking. Something I’d never thought I’d be able to do. I went from 40 (2 packets) a day down to 5 a day last month and then on the 1st of October nuffin, zilch, zero. I had my last cigarette last Monday night ๐Ÿ™‚

I’ve been using a nicotine inhaler, and to be honest, it’s only down to using it that the family are all still alive lol. So I’ve managed to fend off the nicotine cravings, but dealing with the pure “want” of a cigarette, to not smell that smoke, to not have it between my fingers when I type or write has been torturous ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

Curtesy of Grant Cochrane at freedigitalphotos

So you’ve probably noticed that I haven’t been online much this week, and haven’t answered your blog comments, read other blogs or responded to e mails. I’m even behind with the Scrivener class. I’ve been trying to change my routine, trying to avoid situations where a cigarette was part of the process…but I know I can’t avoid those things for ever. I’m sitting in bed writing this blog post because I couldn’t face writing it at my dining room table. I don’t usually blog in bed, and I can’t see me doing it again…I’ve got back ache lol

So my plans for this week are to emerge from my metaphorical cave/duvet and get back on track. I’m hoping that if I convince myself that 1 week is a turning point, where I’ve proven I don’t need my cigarettes, then I can get back into my usual routine, which will involve catching up with a lot of stuff this week.

On a lighter note, I met up with my fellow Nano ML’s on Saturday and we planned all the write ins for our area. Wow, November is gunna be busy ๐Ÿ™‚

What are your writing plans for the week?

Insecure Writers Support Group October 2013


Huge thanks as ever to the wonderful Alex J Cavanaugh for hosting the group ๐Ÿ™‚ I will try to get round as many of you as I can today.

Another month has absolutely flown by, but I don’t mind, I love autumn, when I can wrap up warm and drink endless amounts of hot chocolate. It also signifies the run up to Nanowrimo, and I’m excited this year because (1) Iโ€™ll be using Scrivener to write the whole thing and (2) I think I’m really going to enjoy writing this one ๐Ÿ™‚

So what am I insecure about this month?

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The Dream Vacation

Number 3 of the 30 Day Writing Challenge prompts is:

If you could go on vacation anywhere in the world where would you go? Use vivid detail and prose to describe the experience you would like to have.

This photo was taken in Spain.

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My Fun Meet-up with Fellow Blogger, Vikki Thompson!

My trip down to the South Coast last week to meet up with the lovely Sarah ๐Ÿ™‚

Sarah Potter Writes


Last Thursday, I had a fantastic get-together with fellow writer and blogger, Vikki Thompson. She left home at seven in the morning for our meet-up in my home town on the south coast, and my first sight of Vikki was of a most industrious writer sat at a table outside a cafรฉ on the seafront, her head bent over a notepad, scribbling away, with a latte to sustain her.

Iโ€™ve known Vikki for about a year, on-line, and really love the chatty style of her writing blog.ย  Sheโ€™s such a focused and motivated person with regard to writing, although sheโ€™d probably argue with that! I always knew weโ€™d gel if ever we met up, so it was a delight to discover that, on a global scale. we lived around the corner from each other.

Seated outside the cafรฉ, we succeeded in talking to each other non-stop for about fiveโ€ฆ

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The Book of Me, Written by You

If you’re into journaling, writing memoir or genealogy then perhaps this might interest you…

Good luck to Julie at Anglers Rest with this project. I’ll be taking part when I can ๐Ÿ™‚

If you want to join, you’ll need to be quick…it starts today!

Writing Blogger Challenge Day 10

Awwwww, that’s it! Today is the last day ๐Ÿ˜ฆ


Today’s prompt is:

List 5 top blog posts from fellow participants in this challenge. Link to them, and say why you enjoyed them.

Oh, now that’s not fair ๐Ÿ˜ฆ How am I expected to choose! Plus, I’m so behind as usual that I probably won’t finish reading everyone’s post til the end of the week lol

Every day Hunter has been giving us a choice of 2 prompts to choose from, so today, I’m going for the 2nd prompt, which is…

Donate to a worthy cause or fellow writer.

I love this idea! ๐Ÿ™‚

Well I always try to support my fellow writers (in any way i can) but I’ve been a bit lapse recently ๐Ÿ˜ฆ So today I will purchase some Kindle books by writers who I know or who’s blogs I follow. I have just bought:

Make Believe

100 Ways To Fight The Flab

Anyone For Murder?

The Wrong Man

One Day For Me

Now I feel all warm and fuzzy and have another 5 books to add to the To Be Read pile *snigger* If The Hubster is reading this, sorry honey, but look at it this way, they’re not actual books ๐Ÿ˜‰

Do you support your fellow writers by buying their eBooks?

Writing Blogger Challenge Day 9


Today’s prompt is:

Post either a setting or character profile from your latest fiction project, a chapter summary of your non-fiction book, or a discussion of the theme or object inspiring a poem, article, or other writing project.

Hmmmmmm *thinks* Well, I’ve shared the character profiles of my first novel (Still) but I’m afraid the characters in Tangled and Sorrento Sunrise are somewhere, within the pages of my 41 notebooks (and at this stage I’m thinking I really should have some kind of indexing system!). So rather than try to trawl through all my notebooks I’ll give you a new one ๐Ÿ™‚

Last night I wrote the beginnings of yet another story (prompted by something in Natalie Goldberg’s Wild Mind). Ms Goldberg suggested making a list…

A Colour Blue (the sky over London on a September morning)
A City London
A Street Charlotte Street (where I meet the Faber gang and the location of my story)
A Fruit Mango (what my character finds in his lunch box lol)
A Month September
A Job Newsagent (newspaper seller)

And then to write a piece containing all of them…. So this character profile is from the story I came up with last night.

Bill Taylor is 62 years old. Born and bred in East London he is proud of his roots and his first job at 14 was on a market stall in Petticoat Lane, selling “bits and bobs” to local housewives.

Short and stocky, he is now balding, what little hair he has left is white but he still has the cheeky blue eyes and dimpled chin that made him so popular in the 1960’s.

Married to Marjorie since the 1970’s they have 2 sons who both live overseas, and 2 grand daughters they rarely see. On his left arm he has Marjorie’s name tattooed and on his right arm, the names of his sons.

Bill runs a newsagents in London selling to the commuters as they make their way to the tube station. Business has taken a dip these past couple of years due to the digital age (everyone getting the news on their phones) so Marjorie is trying to persuade him to retire and buy a little flat by the sea. Bill couldn’t think of anything worse! Since his heart attack last year, Marjorie has been filling his lunch box with what he terms as “rabbit food” and insists that he stick to the diet recommended by the doctor.

A very proud man, he is a traditionalist with high morals and strong views of what is right and wrong. A Royalist, his proudest moment was meeting Princess Diana when she stopped at his shop to buy a bottle of water and a pack of sweets for Wills and Harry.

In his spare time (what little there is as he has to be at the shop for 4.30 every morning) he enjoys football (but sadly doesn’t go to the matches anymore…he used to take his sons) and likes to keep up to date with current affairs. He often says “what’s the point of selling newspapers if you don’t know what’s going on in the world” and can often be found reading the papers behind his counter when the shop is empty.

He drives a small old white van that’s constantly breaking down and although he owns his shop (he inherited it from an uncle back in the 1980’s) which is prime London real estate, he has no intention of selling and is adamant that they will have to “cart him out in a box” which causes tension and arguments with Marjorie.

I think that’s it ๐Ÿ™‚ I don’t know what’s going to happen to old Bill, I haven’t got that far in the story yet lol, but, you know me, Bill will probably end up getting his wish of being carted out in a box ๐Ÿ˜‰

if you try Ms Goldberg’s list idea, do let me know, I’d be interested to hear what you come up with.

Writing Blogger Challenge Day 8


Day eights prompt is:

Post about your writing routines / rituals / habits or quirks โ€“ 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 ๐Ÿ˜‰

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 ๐Ÿ™‚ If I get really involved in a session I like to have a Nescafรฉ Cappucino in a Starbucks mug by my side, or if I’m out and about, a skinny latte ๐Ÿ˜‰

(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 7

Sorry today’s post is a little late, but I’ve been having a Proud Mummy Moment and I’ve only just got back ๐Ÿ™‚


The prompt for day 7 is:

Profile 2 books youโ€™ve read and loved lately.

Hmmmmm, well, I haven’t read any fiction for ages and that’s partly to do with all the critique pieces I’ve read recently.

The last book I actually read, and loved was A Voice Of Her Own by Marlene A. Schiwy.

A fascinating look at women diary writers. I will definitely be seeking out some of the work referred to. It’s very inspiring, especially if you’re into journal writing and keeping a diary (something I aspire to).

And then the book I’m currently reading (which I was hoping to love) is Happier At Home by Gretchen Rubin.

I thoroughly enjoyed her first book, The Happiness Project, and although I’m on Chapter 3 of this one I’m finding myself skim reading sections *sighs* It’s so disappointing isn’t it when you thought you’d love a book, but you’re just not gelling ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

I’m in a bit of a fiction reading slump at the moment so help me out….What was the best fiction book you’ve read so far this year? I need some inspiration ๐Ÿ™‚

Writing Blogger Challenge Day 6


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! ๐Ÿ˜‰ 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? ๐Ÿ˜‰ Seriously, if you’re not subscribed to at least one of her blogs, why not? ๐Ÿ˜‰

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 ๐Ÿ˜‰

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