Must Do’s 5th to 11th

Firstly, I’ve had about 10 comments that ended up in my Spam folder (that definitely shouldn’t have been there!) I’ve approved them, but now I’ve lost them! so if you’ve recently commented to one if my posts and I didn’t reply could you point me to which day? Thanks πŸ™‚

Have you noticed my To Do Lists seem to be getting shorter and shorter? Lol

I’m still writing every day (morning pages – The Artists Way and using Natalie Goldberg’s Wild Mind) but I’m not feeling very focused. I’m ok with that though, I’ve got a lot on my mind at the moment (you’ll see what I mean when you read Wednesdays IWSG post) and I’ve also been planning (mentally) my Nano 13 novel, which I’m actually quite excited about!

So last weeks ridiculously simple list ended up like this:

1. Sort out rewards Blog Post Ummmm, nope, I looked at it a few times, but, it’s still sitting in my draft folder. If you nominated me for an award recently, I haven’t forgotten, it’s just that I’m not gunna be able to post it live this week or next anyway 😦
2. Do Artist Way stuff Done, although there was one task, “Visit a sacred place” that I didn’t do, and I know just the place I want to visit πŸ™‚
3. Start indexing my notebooks Ahhhh, well I did up to number 3, which I was quite pleased about πŸ™‚ It’s blooming hard work…but interesting.

On Saturday I’m off to Swanwick The Writers Summer School. My 3rd year and I’m really looking forward to it πŸ™‚ More about that on Friday, and suffice to say, the To Do List this week reflects that πŸ™‚

I’ve also got a book launch to attend and then of course, Friday I’ll be packing!

So have a good week guys….mine will be a little frantic, and now, I’m off to make packing lists lol

What are your plans for the week?

Writing Blogger Challenge Day 4


Day 4’s prompt is:

Profile 3 to 5 top writing craft books

Ok, I’m going to talk about the ones I’ve read.

My favourite all time writing book is The Writers Book Of Days by Judy Reeves. What can I say about this book that I haven’t already said (see my prompt a day 2012 tab above). This book is an excellent companion for any writer, but especially for those just starting out who need practice. I’m a big believer in the the more you write the better you write. This book helped me improve my writing ten fold πŸ™‚

The 5 Minute Writer by Margret Geraghty was the first writing book I ever read. I loved this because it showed me that there is no such thing as “I don’t have time to write” πŸ˜‰ The exercises are thought provoking and can be done in 5 minutes.

And lastly, no writers collection would be complete without at least one book by Natalie Goldberg. I have read Writing Down The Bones and then recently Wild Mind which were both inspiring. Ms Goldberg is a huge believer in writing practice (as are the other 2 writers above) and her books tell of her personal writing journey interspersed with exercises.

I’m a journal writer, it’s what started me on my writing journey (thanks Julia Cameron), so at the moment I’m reading A Voice of Her Own (Women and the journal writing journey) by Marlene A. Schiwy which is absolutely fascinating, and includes extracts from famous female authors journals/diaries. I think it’s important to keep writing, even if you’re not in the mood to write fiction, even if you’re suffering from writers block. Forming the habit of writing every single day is the best piece of advice I’ve ever been given πŸ™‚

So tell me, what is your favourite writing book? Do you tend to go for a certain type, like I do?

Inspiring? Moi?

Firstly, a HUGE apology….I’m behind with blog reading (haven’t read any this week. But, at the moment I just can’t focus). Today, as you read this, I’ll be in London, doingl my pitch at Faber & Faber to a room full of agents. I’ve been a nervous wreck all week! Will catch up with what you’ve all been up to over the weekend, I promise πŸ™‚

The lovely Katie over at The Intrinsic Writer has nominated me for the Inspiring Blog Award. Thank you so much honey πŸ™‚

The rules are:
1. Display award image on your blog page
2. Link back to the person who nominated you
3. State what inspires you
4. Nominate 5 others for this award
5. Notify said bloggers

So what inspires me?
Talking to other writers.
Art galleries & museums.
Sitting on the sand/pebbles at the beach and staring out to sea.
Walking in the woods surrounded by trees.
Using brightly coloured pens in my notebooks.
Visiting historic houses.
Sunny days.
Natalie Goldberg, Judy Reeves & Julia Cameron.
Reading great books/writers.
New experiences.
People watching in coffee shops.
Great cpnversation.

The blogs I nominate for this award are:
Sarah Potter
Linda King
Edith at In A Room Of My Own
Sara Kjeldsen
The Write Romantics

Then the wonderful Rustic Recluse nominated me for the Very Inspiring Blogger Award….thank you πŸ™‚

This one is where I have to state 7 things about myself, but, I’m gunna ask you guys to do the work…..Ask me a question…if there’s more than 7 I’ll still answer, promise πŸ˜‰

And the 7 bloggers I nominate for this one are:

Rose Anderson
Magdalena Vandenberg
Nicky Wells
Karen at Karcherry
Catherine Johnson
Debbie at The Wicked Queens Mirror
Sue at Sassy Speaks

Please take a moment to check out all these wonderful bloggers. Now, who has the first question? Ooooo, I’m nervous lol

Beautiful Blogger = Beautiful Books

Happy Halloween by the way πŸ™‚

I’ve been nominated by Pat Wood and by Marina at Writing is Hard Work for the Beautiful Blogger Award πŸ™‚ Thank you both, so much! πŸ™‚

So the rules are that I share 7 things about myself and then pass this award on…. Ok, well, you know me, I do like to break the rules, so, I’m going to recommend 7 books that I think should be on every writers book shelf πŸ™‚

I apologise now that all these links are for the UK.

The Artists Way by Julia Cameron is the book that started me on my writing journey.

The Writers Book of Days has been brilliant. I can’t tell you how much I’ve loved this book! It’s been my bible and constant companion since the 1st January of this year. It has encouraged me to write every single day and I will feel bereft without it come the 1st January 2013

The 5 Minute Writer by Margaret Geraghty was the first ever “writing” book I used. I loved all the exercises, and the concept that you only need 5 minutes.

The Writers Treasury of Ideas by Linda Lewis is fabulous for generating story ideas. Trust me, if you have this book, you will never be stumped for a story idea, ever again!

Writing Down The Bones by Natalie Goldberg. I’m reading it now and loving it! Actually, any Natalie Goldberg you can get your hands on is a great investment.

If you’re into writing romance you can’t go far wrong with Mary Wibberly’s To Writers With Love which, unfortunately is out of print now. It’s a little bit dated, but still very valuable. I love it! We said to Mary at Swanwick in August that she should urge the publishers to republish it. We’ll work on her next year πŸ˜‰

Last, but by no means least (and for all you Kindle lovers) The Emotion Thesaurus by Angela Ackerman & Becca Puglisi. What can I say about this book….BRILLIANT! I am almost tempted to tell you to buy a Kindle for this book alone! But it’s fine on an iPad, or PC/Laptop. An invaluable guide for all fiction writers πŸ™‚

So there we have it. My top 7 writing books πŸ™‚ I’m sure there are many other great books out there, but these are the ones I own and love πŸ™‚ If you have a favourite writing book that’s not on my list please let me know, I’m always open to recommendations. *whispers* I can hear hubby grinding his teeth and thinking more books…more money he he he πŸ˜‰

Now, onto the nominations! πŸ™‚

I’m going to nominate…..
Heather James
Marina at Finding Time To Write
Bridget Whelan
Bel Anderson
Debbie at The Wicked Queens Mirror
Katherine at The Intrinsic Writer
Lanise at The Timekeepers Journal

Please check out all these lovely bloggers πŸ™‚

Sooooo, tomorrow is the 1st of November *gulp* and the start of Nano!!!!! Good luck to everyone who’s participating! πŸ™‚

I Am Woman, Hear Me Roar

I read a book entitled that once, but anyway…

Thanks to Amy at Tao Te Ching Daily who posted a comment on my Celebrating Bloggers post a couple of days ago, there will be 2 posts today πŸ™‚

Now, I don’t normally, as you know, but, I really enjoy these Blog Hops, I love the whole idea that people all around the world are blogging about the same thing, on the same day. So if you ever hear of any others, do let me know πŸ™‚

Today’s Blog Hop is Celebrating Womanhood and is being hosted by the Living, Learning and Loving Life Blog which I’ve never come across before. What a great title for a Blog eh? πŸ˜‰ I’ll definitely be subscribing!


So the whole idea is that you can write about anything, as long as it celebrates women. So after some thought I decided to tell you about a woman who inspired me πŸ™‚

There have been many woman who have inspired me over the years (unfortunately NOT a mother or big sister, but we wont go down that road lol). The first two who spring to mind are Julia Cameron, (it was thanks to discovering Julia’s work that I picked up a pen after, ooooo, I won’t tell you how many years lol) and Judy Reeves (who is most undoubtedly responsible for my love of writing at this present moment in time). But, one woman, who’s story truly captivated me when I first heard about it (just as i was embarking on my writing journey) was Erin Gruwell.

Name not familiar? Ok, what about The Freedom Writers Foundation or The Freedom Writers Diary ? No? Ok, my last attempt to jog your memory…. Freedom Writers the film starring Hilary Swank, with me now? Finally lol πŸ˜‰

If none of the above makes any sense whatsoever please do check out the links. In the meantime, I’ll fill in the details…..

In 1994 Erin Gruwell was a new English teacher at a High School in California, assigned a class of “unteachable, at-risk” students. One day in class she discovered a note on which had been scribbled a racial insult and told her class that it was the kind of thing that led to the Holocaust (which most of the kids had never heard of!). The class then embarked on a study of Anne Franks diary, which led to the students seeing the parallels to their own lives. Gruwell gave them notebooks to use as journals, where they could record their own thoughts and feelings and they dubbed themselves “The Freedom Writers” after the civil rights activists the Freedom Riders. With funds the class raised themselves they managed to arrange for Miep Gies, the brave Dutch woman who sheltered the Frank family, to visit them in California.

Gruwell’s troubled teens turned into productive adults, some of them going into the teaching profession themselves. They now have the Freedom Writers Foundation to help share the methods Gruwell used with her students to other teachers and they have toured the world sharing the message of writing, which can lead to tolerance and empowerment.

It’s an inspiring story of “how a teacher and 150 teens used writing to change themselves and the world around them.” I was so captivated by the whole thing that I joined the web site, made a donation, and bought a handful of pens πŸ™‚

I have one pen left now *sobs* but every time I write with it I think about those kids, inspired by one woman. Erin Gruwell, I wish I’d had a teacher like you, perhaps I would have started writing in my teens πŸ™‚ I’m so glad there are women, teachers like Erin Gruwell out there who are encouraging kids to write, and that my friends is awesome! πŸ™‚

Who are the women that you take inspiration from?

That’ll Teach Me

I consumed way too much alcohol Tuesday night, so spent most of yesterday suffering for it lol. Baileys + Kir Royal + White Wine + Red Wine + Dessert Wine was a really bad idea 😦

I’m definitely no Ernest Hemingway I don’t write better under the influence, in fact, I find it hard to write at all lol….my brain is too fuzzy.

Came across this You Tube video a couple of days ago…..brilliant…..does that mean I’m a writer if I can relate to it? πŸ˜‰

Yesterday I was reading about the difference between writing practice and journal writing. I fell into this whole “fiction writing” malarkey through my love of keeping a journal, and that all started because of dear Julia Cameron and The Artists Way.


A fantastic book if you haven’t read it…..DO!

Anyway, I digress……

There isn’t much difference between the 2 processes, writing practice is usually more focused, a prompt or a topic. I don’t record my thoughts and feelings in my writing notebook like I use to in my journals. I love journalling, but it got to the stage where I was depressing myself lol. I was fed up re-reading the doom and gloom. Oh, don’t get me wrong, I would write about good stuff, but moments later I would find myself analysing again. I daren’t look back on any of them lol.

Sue Grafton says “The journal serves as a place to offload anxiety, a verbal repair shop when my internal writing machine breaks down.” Yeah, ok, I can see she has a point, but, I’m so sick of whining and moaning….I did that for about 6 years (in written form and with a Live Journal account).

I want to move on now πŸ™‚ Yes, I still have moments when I feel like absolute shit, and perhaps one day I’ll go back to journalling…..but at the moment I’m projecting my moods onto my characters πŸ˜‰

Managed to catch up with my prompts yesterday…..finish the romance one in the library and the one about animal dreams is still *ahem* unfinished 😦 There’s always one that ends up stalling me lol. Today’s one is a jewel which seems much easier than the animal dream πŸ˜‰