Monday Monday…

…so good to me…

Is it?

I’ve been away for the weekend, had a lovely time, relaxed, slept, ate, drunk wine and cocktails and read. But all too soon it’s back to real life. I guess that’s what makes weekends away so special πŸ™‚


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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 πŸ™‚

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! πŸ˜‰ 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 πŸ™‚

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.


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 πŸ˜‰

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.

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! πŸ™‚

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 πŸ™‚

Back in my room now chilling, as it all kicks off tomorrow good and proper πŸ˜‰

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

Writing Blogger Challenge Day 8


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 πŸ˜‰

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

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

Do you have any writing routines/rituals?

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 πŸ™‚

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 πŸ˜‰
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 πŸ˜‰

So what am I up to this week?

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 πŸ™‚

What are your writing plans for the week?

Faber Session 18 – Will Atkinson

It was a lovely sunny day here in Kent when I got on the train….unfortunately, by the time I got to London it was pissing down lol πŸ˜‰

But I didn’t let the weather deter me from my cake, cheesecake to be precise…

And a quick stop off in Daunt Books in Marylebone High Street πŸ™‚


So I arrived at class having lost a button on my coat, with a brolley that I stuck in Fabers bin because it had blown inside out so many times and wet feet because my dolly shoes (a totally impractical choice of footwear) sprung a leek! πŸ˜‰

Today’s class was a session with Faber’s Sales and Marketing Director, Will Atkinson who talked about the changing face of book selling and publishing. Here are some of my notes:

The reasons a book sells (in statistical order)
1. Recommendation
2. You like the author
3. Bookshop display
4. Publicity & Reviews

If someone famous Tweets about a book they’ve recently read a publisher can sell up to 200,000 copies from that one recommendation alone.

More people than ever are reading and writing.

15% of all books bought in the UK last year were self published.

Self publishing via Kindle is not a bad thing to do, but be aware that you are in murky company, lumped in with badly written and unedited work from others.

Publishers notice eBooks that are doing well.

eBooks can be a way to promote yourself even with a traditional publishing deal.

There is a huge element of luck as to whether your published book is a success, but, the quality of the book will out.

The publishing industry is in difficulty, but at the moment, eBooks are making up for that.

The Richard & Judy Bookclub has had a major impact on summer book buying in the UK. Those on their annual list doing very well, the other authors suffering because of it.

Will gave a very positive view on the publishing industry, which was nice to hear. He also said that if a man on the street hears about a book, is he going to get in his car, drive to the local high street, park up, find a Waterstones or WHSmiths, go in and find the book? No, he’s much more likely to get his phone or iPad out and order it on Amazon. A fair point indeed.

Hmmmmm, some stuff to think about…I was convinced that I didn’t want to go down the eBook route, that I wanted a traditional publishing deal, but now I’m not so sure. I’m liking the idea of using the eBook idea as a form of promotion, I can see that working…..perhaps some short stories?

What do you guys think? Tempted? Those of you who have self published on Kindle, what made you decide to do that rather than go to a publisher?

Fantasy Time or Wishful Thinking

Yesterday I was thinking about how bored I am with my dining room table lol…, I don’t mean the actual table (well, that too but that’s a different post!) I mean where I write *deep sigh*

So I decided to do a free writing session on my ideal writing location and that reminded me of a journal page I did back in, ooooo, must of been 2008 lol


I love the treehouse idea as a place to write, but, it’s not my ideal writing space……

I’m not greedy, or particularly demanding. A small room would be ok. I don’t need a chaise lounge or a huge desk. A couple of bookcases, where I could store all my notebooks and writing books. A small armchair in the corner for reading and a couple of shelves above my desk for photographs and small nick nacks that have meaning and importance. Some inspiring quotes and pictures on the wall and an old clock, the kind that ticks. The walls would be pale pastel tones, the furniture, natural wood. A stripped wood floor with a large rug and some fluffy cushions on the armchair. My favourite mug on a coaster and a vase of flowers.

A large window in front of my desk that opens wide, with a view of the sea and the beach below. Scented candles and a couple of lamps. A coffee machine or some kind of tea maker (I wonder if you can make tea in a coffee percolator?) and my favourite pair of cozy fluffy slippers. A comfy office chair to support my back and plenty of power sockets for my iPad and netbooks.

White voile curtains at the window that flutter in the breeze coming off the sea. The scent of seaweed and salt filling the room.

Ahhhhhh…..bliss….I’m feeling rather chilled right now lol πŸ™‚

Ok, when I become a best seller (ha bloody ha!) you just know where I’ll be moving to πŸ™‚

What would be your ideal writing space?

Shameless Begging……..
I’ve got one of my stories up on Flash Fiction World and I know I haven’t got a chance in hell of winning lol, but, if you do get the chance, click the link and leave me a comment and rating *flutters eyelashes* πŸ˜‰

Went to my class last night. I always look forward to it….it’s so nice to have 3 writery type groups that I’m part of πŸ™‚ We did some work on story ideas, and we have homework….to write a short story using a Horoscope for inspiration. Guess what I’ll be doing today? Buying magazines with horoscopes in lol

Yesterday’s prompt about the eyes turned into the start of a short story about a teenage girl with a powerful stare that creeps out all her class mates πŸ˜‰ Today’s prompt is at the end of an empty street which kind of reminds me of a few pics I’ve taken over the years *goes off to hunt some down for inspiration* πŸ™‚

Auditioning Words

I came across this quote yesterday (thanks to Judy Reeves):

“Writing is not a visual art. It is a symphony, not an oil painting. It is the shattering, not the glass. It is the ringing, not the bell. The words you write make sounds, and when the sounds satisfy the readers ear, your writing works.” Gary Provost

……and that’s why it’s so important to read your work out loud to yourself πŸ˜‰

The Thesaurus must surely be the most powerful writers tool (apart from paper and a pen). I have one as an app I use on my iPad. Bloody handy I must say……why say red if you can say crimson? Why say walked if you can say shuffled?

Good writing (IMO) is all about the image you create for your reader, to draw them in.

Sooooo, I’m creating a list of words that excite me…..wish me luck πŸ˜‰

Today’s prompt was about someone reading a poem. I’m beginning to get increasingly concerned that because my stories are so dark, I’ll never have anything to submit to the women’s magazine market. So today I thought I’d try me hand at a bit of romance. It went quite well, I’m kinda pleased, and it was prompted by Sally Quilford’s recent blog post.

So perhaps I can actually write something a little more lighthearted πŸ˜‰

Today’s prompt is write about bad blood lol….oh dear, it looks like I’m back to the dark side πŸ˜‰