Sunday, 25 November 2012

Sunday Night Blues...

You know, sometimes I just can't believe how fast the weekend goes - one minute it's Friday night and I'm chilling on the sofa with a good book (with the exception of this Friday when i actually ventured outside the house for once), the next, it's Sunday and I have to start planning my outfit for work the next day. Time really does fly by in an alarming way.

Take NaNoWriMo for example. I told myself that this would be the year when I participated - I may not hit the 50,000 word mark, but I was going to give it my best shot.

NaNoWriMo ends on Friday and my word count currently stands at 1,279. It's pitiful.

I actually feel like I've let myself down a bit. I was so looking forward to seeing my story take shape, and see what happens  with my characters and how the story would change over time, but instead, I've barely started the first chapter.

It's just disappointing because I know I do this a lot. I told myself I'd finish a novel by the time I was 18 and I never did. I told myself I would finish my novel by the time I graduated and I never did. I told myself I'd finish a novel by the time I was 21 and guess what? That doesn't look likely either, as my 22nd birthday looms ever closer.

It's just frustrating because I know that I want to be an author more than anything in the world. I adore writing. I love making up stories in my head as I sit on the bus and watch the world go by. But when it actually comes down to it - I always bail in some way. I don't know if this is because of some inherent fear I have that my stories and my writing will never be good enough for people to read, or if it's because I'm afraid of failing, or if I'm simply just too lazy to begin writing seriously. I did make some headway this summer while I was applying for jobs (managed to write around 40,000 words on one story), but now, I always seem to have some excuse not to write - whether because I'm too busy, or because I'm too tired at night when I come home from work.

I always make promises to myself that I'll try harder and this resolve lasts for a little while, until I run out of steam and the whole cycle starts again. And it's just starting to get me down a little bit, especially as NaNoWriMo has been such a disaster.
I'm considering maybe joining a writing group to help me on my way - perhaps if I make my writing less private, I might pluck up the courage to actually finish a story for once and see where I can go with it - but again, this may just be an idea that I think of, but never get round to, or I'll go along for a little while then stop. But we'll see!

I do apologise for the depressing post - I hate read posts like this myself, so next time, I promise I'll be more cheerful ;), and here's something that never fails to make me smile:

It's not particularly high-brow is it!

Have a great week folks!


Thursday, 1 November 2012

It's time! Let's get writing!!...

It's finally here!

Today marks the first day of NaNoWriMo!

For those of you who are slightly confused by the term, NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month. It's where you aim to write 50,000 words of a novel (note: novel, not short story etc) by midnight November 30th. Sounds easy right?...probably not.

I'm so so excited to get started. Although on the other hand, I'm also so nervous about opening up my outline again, after around six weeks of not looking or thinking about it at it all...strictly speaking, I'm not too sure if that's allowed according to the NaNoWriMo rules...but as it's my first time, I want to make everything as easy as possible to ease myself into the process ;).

If you want to learn more about NaNoWriMo, you can check out the website here.

So how about you? Will you be taking part this year??

Good luck to everyone who's taking part!!

Let's get writing!


Monday, 29 October 2012

Are you ready...?

Around two years ago I heard of an amazing writing challenge that happens every November, all over the world...

Can you guess what it is?

Yup, that's right. It's that time of year's time for NaNoWriMo!

I first heard of this in my second year of uni, but it was around halfway through November before I was aware of it, so I decided to wait until the next year. Last year, I was so bogged down with uni work, I couldn't focus on anything else, let alone writing.

But this year I have no excuse - and I am so so excited to finally be a part of NaNoWriMo! I don't know if I'll 'win', but I'm going to give it a damn good shot! I've got the outline of my story and I know all my characters, it's just that lately, I've haven't had the time to actual sit down and write - so this really is a perfect opportunity for me to get into the habit and set myself a challenge. I can't wait to see how it goes. No doubt whatever i write I'll hate, but I don't mind about that - so long as finally get something down on paper, I'll be happy.

I've officially joined the NaNoWriMo site. I'm about to go and introduce myself right now. I'm frantically looking out my flash pen/folder of notes so I can put them by the computer for when I frantically start writing. I'm nearly ready for Thursday...

I think...

So how about you guys? Will you be taking part in NaNoWriMo this year? If so, will you be working on a WIP or will you be starting something completely new? I can't wait to hear your stories!

Have a good night, everyone!


Thursday, 27 September 2012

Tea and tunes...

So, the last time I wrote, I said I was finally going to open up my detailed synopsis and start writing.

That didn't happen.

Mainly because I am the world's biggest procrastinator and I kept putting off the big moment again and again.

HOWEVER, today is the day! I've got a free morning, so I'm sitting here with a mug of tea, the radio on, Spotify running and staring with increasing panic at my flash pen, before I finally take the plunge and see what kind of crap I wrote all that time ago. Still, it's got to happen at some point, and if I'm going to be serious about writing, I can't put it off any longer.

So here it goes.

I'll write again later, and let you know if a) I'm delighted and can't wait to start writing again or b) I've thrown my laptop out of the window in frustration.

Honestly, who thought just looking at a bloody synopsis would be so nerve-wracking?! If I'm like this now, I don't even wanna know what I'll be like if I ever finish the first draft!

On the plus side, if it really is that awful, there's another novel idea that's been floating around in my head for the past couple of days - so I could always do that instead ;).

Have a great day everyone!


Sunday, 16 September 2012

Lazy Sundays....kind of...

I honestly didn't mean to leave it so long until I blogged again - but I wanted to waited until I could share some exciting news with you all before I did :) (I could also use the excuse that I've been busy - which is perfectly true, but at the same time, I know I could've blogged if I was really motivated to!)

Anyway, first things first....a quick update on my book progress. As I mentioned in my previous post which you can find here, I'm stilling following the guidelines set out in 'How to nail your Novel' by Roz Morris. However, I may have, er, slightly have left my synopsis longer than I originally meant to! I did mean to start it again last weekend, as the Other Half was a away for a week, so I knew I wouldn't have any distractions - but I got distracted reading the AMAZING second book in the Game of Thrones series 'A Clash of Kings' instead (and I can't emphasize how much I absolutely adore this series - it is utterly amazing!). So instead, I think after I've been food shopping and to the gym (and possibly a small shopping trip thrown in for good measure too) today, tonight I am going to sit down and finally look over what I did, all those weeks ago. I know there are some parts I'm going to hate -  already I can think of a few scenes where I just want to cringe and hide - but I'm determined not to let that stop me. I really want this novel to finally go somewhere, so even if I don't like what I see, I'm determined to try and work on it, instead of just throwing it away like I have with so many other novels. I'll let you know how it goes!

So, onto my news - I can't remember if I've moaned over my lack of getting a job over the past few months (try about five) on here - I think I have, or at least, I've wanted to! However, it is with utter relief that I can finally announce that I HAVE A REAL GROWN-UP JOB!

Hooray!! I'm so so happy and relieved right now. I can't express the utter desperation, depression and exhaustion I've felt since, well, before I left university really. The job market really is horrendous, and it's so disheartening to keep applying for jobs and then to keep getting rejection after rejection. However, finally, a publisher has decided to take a chance on me and I am so happy that it's a job that I really really wanted - finally, all my tears and tantrums have paid off!

I know this means that I'll have even less time to write than I do at the minute, but hopefully it'll just push me harder to succeed in my writing - and it's proof that if you just keep trying and don't give up, you'll get what you want in the end :).

Have a great weekend, folks! I'll write again soon, I promise!


Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Thank goodness for technology...

Well I've been on a bit of an unexpected hiatus lately - not because I wanted to take a break. but because the signal from mobile dongle we were using for the internet just kept getting worse and worse, until I could only stand going online if I absolutely had to!

However, all that's changed now - we moved house at the weekend (because our contract was up, not because of the poor internet signal) and we've just received our broadband package today - hooray! Finally, I can get back to writing and rambling once again ;).

I'm just going to give a VERY quick overview of everything that's happened over the past few weeks so I don't bore you all to death before I tell you where I'm at with my writing - I got a week's worth of temp work at a publishers, me and the Other Half went back up to Cumbria for a week and farmed, we've moved house and I've just received word that the publisher would like to go back and do ANOTHER week's work for them :)! Hooray! It's a start ;)!

Onto my writing now - I'm still working on the same project I started a few month ago (shock, horror - think this is the longest I've ever stuck with a project!). I'm still using the method I told you about in my last post (using the steps outlines in 'Nail Your Novel' by Roz Morris) - so I finished my detailed synopsis, slightly later than I planned, and now apparently I have to put it away for a while so I can come back and look at it again with fresh eyes. Luckily, I managed to finish it before we went up to Cumbria and before we moved house, so I've had plenty to keep me occupied to stop me dwelling on it! I was only going to leave it for a week - Ms Morris recommends a month, but I didn't want to wait that long - however, as I'm hopefully going to be working at a publishers again next week, that'll make it three whole weeks since I last looked at my synopsis (good gracious - time really does fly!). So I'll have had a good long break before I take it out again!

I have to admit, I'm actually a bit scared about looking at it again. I keep remembering certain parts and cringing a bit when I think of them - I really really don't want to open up my synopsis and discover that I hate it all! Hopefully, I'll decide there's something worth saving amongst all the cringey bits!

And now that I'm reconnected to the internet, I'll be sure to keep you all updated on my progress, and I'm looking forward to nosing around everyone's blogs once again and taking part in the IWSG once more ;)!

Have a great day everyone!


Saturday, 28 July 2012

Unleashing Creativity...kind of...

Ahh, it's such a beautiful day here in England - the perfect weather to start off the London Olympics! We ended up watching the whole of the opening ceremony last night, so I'm a bit frazzled this morning! However,
the Other Half's parentals are down for the weekend, so we can all just chill in the sun today :).

Anyway, I'm sneakily writing this as everyone else gets ready for our day out, but I have a few updates I just wanted to share with you all....

Firstly - I downloaded an e-book the other day called 'Nail Your Novel' by Roz Morris. I've been thinking about downloading a self-help book to writing for a while, and as I really want to get back into the habit of writing again, I thought I'd just bite the bullet and do it. So far, I think it's fantastic! It gives you all these tips on how to write, but instead of just telling you what to do, the writer provides exercises and games for you to do, to unleash your creativity and help you to spot where you're going wrong. At first, I wasn't too sure about her methods to be honest - but I thought I'd give it a whirl anyway and I LOVE IT!

No joke - in one section, you're supposed to write down each scene/major development in your book on a notecard, and then fit them together - that way, you can progressively see which parts of your book need work. I had a lot of fun writing out the notecards, but I had even MORE fun writing the whole thing up onto a spreadsheet in Excel and then colour coding different sub-plots! (That's just my obsessive organisational skills kicking in there - you don't have to colour-code everything!). Now I'm onto the stage of writing a detailed synopsis for my novel. Apparently you're supposed to write this based on your notecards, and then fill in the blanks. After you've finished, you're supposed to leave it for a week, so when you look at it again with fresh eyes, you'll be able to spot the mistakes.

Well, I'm about halfway through my synopsis at the moment. I don't know if I'll be able to get any more done this weekend, due to the Other Half's parentals visiting - but I'm really going to try and finish it at least by Monday night. I've FINALLY got a week's worth of work at a publishers (hooray!), so I thought it would give me the perfect chance to just leave my synopsis alone for a week!

Anyway, this post is getting long enough now, so I'll end this a link to Roz Morris' ebook, in case you feel like taking a look....she also offers a free sample on her website if you want to check out her writing style, but at £3.30, I didn't think I could go wrong by just taking a chance and downloading it :).

'Nail Your Novel' by Roz Morris

Does this sound like your type of writing style? Do you do exercises like this anyway? Let me know what you think - I'd love to hear your thoughts!

Have a great day everyone!


Saturday, 21 July 2012

Break time's over...for now...

It's been quite a while since I last wrote (I don't even want to check the date on my last post to see when it was!), but after taking a rather unscheduled break, I think I'm finally ready to get back into writing.

I'm not going to bore you with the details of the last few apathetic weeks I've had - quite simply, I'd had enough. I'd had enough of feeling like I wasn't getting anywhere with my novel, of getting rejection after rejection for every job I applied for (or, most of the time, not hearing back at all), of, well, just everything. I know, I know, it sounds so melodramatic but hey, I'm a writer - that's my job :p.

Over the past couple of weeks, I've turned a bit of a corner (although I was knocked back a bit yesterday by getting rejected after another interview - guess what the reason was? Apparently I'm 'too nice'. Great.) - although I'm tired of getting rejected for jobs and for feeling like my writing isn't good enough, I'm also tired of being tired. I'm twenty one for God's sake - I need to realise that not getting a certain job isn't the end of the world. And that writing a novel takes time - if I want to do a good job, I can't write the whole thing in a day.

Essentially, I just needed a bit of breathing space to realise that I haven't failed in life just yet - I have all the time in the world ahead of me to accomplish my dreams. Just because it's not happening for me right now, doesn't mean that it never will.

And so, I'm starting to write my WIP again. Don't get me wrong - over the stress and tantrums and tears of the last few weeks, I've still been writing down certain scene ideas that have come to me, as well as figuring out a whole new marketing plan for the book - if I ever get it finished that is! So that's something positive - at least I still believe in my work and I still believe it has potential. All I need to do now is get down to writing it!

Sorry for the melodramatic post, folks! I promise, I''m going to try and be a bit more positive and grateful for everything I have from now on :).

Hope you all have a good night!


Wednesday, 20 June 2012

So...did I do it?...

If you've been following my blog over the past few weeks, you might have picked up on the fact that I've been scribbling away trying to write a first draft for my novel by the 19th June...and I know the question you're all wondering now is - did I do it??

And the answer

I didn't manage to complete my novel, but am I disappointed? Hell, no!

In all my other WIPs, the most I've ever managed to write is around 17,000 words - the word count for my current novel is over 40,000. To me, that's a tremendous achievement. I've never stuck at one project for so long, or remained so excited about a WIP for so long either. I still find myself constantly dreaming up scenes while I'm trying to get to sleep, or while I'm out and about, and I simply have to scribble it down. I keep imagining that moment when I've finished it completely, and how excited I'll be when I can finally share it with the world....

Although ideally I would have liked to have reached around 50,000 words, I'm not going to dwell on the fact that it's a little short of that (ha! If 10,000 words can be called 'short'). All I can do now is keep going and hope that I don't run out of steam - it would be a shame if all this effort went to waste!

So, I'm setting myself a new deadline. Hopefully my writing time won't be interrupted by sudden illnesses (stupid stomach bugs...) or holidays (to be honest, I knew I was going away but I thought I could work around it...turns out holidays aren't the most productive writing time for me) or little things such as graduation (happening TODAY at 6pm - eek!!). I am determined to finish this book to prove to myself that I CAN do it!

So here's my new deadline: 1st July 2012

That gives me a little over a week to finish this draft - and after that, I have all the fun of editing it - hooray!

I can't wait to see if I actually manage to do it. Even if I end up putting the deadline back AGAIN, I think I've learned something over the past few weeks - I'm definitely someone who needs a deadline to work to!!

Happy writing, everyone!


Thursday, 14 June 2012

What's my name again?...

Okay, so given that I did my usual whiny/ranting post yesterday, I thought I'd cheer you all up again by writing about something different for a change :).

When I first started my WIP, I had an idea for most of the character names - all except my male protagonist. No matter what I did, no matter how many names I looked up on the Interweb, nothing seemed to fit. I just couldn't get it right.

However, while I was trying to find the perfect name, another name kept popping up in the back of my head. It kept whispering to me but I ignored it because, to be completely honest, it's not one of my favourite names in the world and I didn't want to use it (don't get me wrong - it is a nice name, it's just I personally wouldn't choose it...dunno why). However, because I needed to insert a name into my WIP to stop myself from writing 'BLANK' all the time, I decided just to give in and use the name that I kept thinking about. And once I did, a last name for my character suddenly came out too. I was surprised. Suddenly, the name didn't seem so bad any more.

In fact, I rather like it. I think it suits my character's personality. I'll probably stick with it, but then again, I might not - but I have finally gotten used to calling him by this name.

Isn't odd how sometimes you think of a name and it just seems to fit your character? It's almost as if the characters in your head are standing up and saying 'Hi, my name's so and so, and I'm going to be your new protagonist/antagonist/love interest...' - does that make me sound crazy lol?

How about you? Have you ever thought of a character's name and it wasn't right, and then you've stumbled upon one that's just perfect for your character? Or have you even ever just left a character with a name you weren't sure about, and you've never found out their true name?

I'd love to hear your thoughts!

Happy Thursday, everyone!


Wednesday, 13 June 2012

And here comes the wall...

Sorry for the long silence guys - had a bad cold last week, followed by a migraine, followed by a stomach bug (which I'm only really getting over today). Yup, it never rains but it pours...

I'm going to warn you now. This is another one of my whining/ranting posts - so feel free not to read on if you don't want to! I promise I do have some interesting posts to write - I just can't seem to find the time/energy to write them right now haha!

Anyway, as I've complained about before, I have my first major deadline looming up next week. My aim was to have the first rough draft of my WIP finished by the 19th June, but I'm going to be honest - I don't know if I'll be able to do it. For a start, I've been pretty ill and that set me back a bit - but I could work around that if my motivation hadn't suddenly deserted me today. All throughout this particular WIP I've been excited about the story and where it's going, and eager to get the words down the page, telling myself that it doesn't matter if I don't like what I've written because I can go back and change it later.

That approach doesn't seem to be working so well today. I don't know what happened, but suddenly I looked at my WIP and although I am still so excited about the story, I just couldn't write anymore. I suspect a large part of this 'hitting the wall' feeling is because I'm currently writing a scene that is, well, a bit boring. I need the scene in the book to explain a few things that are going on (and to introduce the main conflict of the book actually) but I don't think it's in the form that I want it to be in. This shouldn't bother me, but I've actually rewritten this scene before and it's still not right. And now I'm wondering if everything I've written so far is boring, and if any of it even makes sense at all - which is not encouraging! Argh!

Plus, since I've been ill, I can't drink tea. So that's one of my major comforters down the drain!

I guess I'll just have to keep powering through. I know I can change scenes and edit it at a later date, but it is still a bit depressing when I don't get it right first time! Also, because the last few days haven't been as productive as I would have liked, I think I'm starting to assume that I won't be bale to finish at about being a pessimist!! I promise I'll try and cheer up by the time I write my next post ;)!

How do you cope with 'hitting the wall'? Do you keep on writing? Or do you step back and take a moment to think about your work before carrying on?

Hope you're all having a great day!


Wednesday, 6 June 2012

IWSG #3!

Good grief, is it really that time of the month again?! Scary how much time flies...

Well, I'll keep this short and sweet - I was going to use this post as an opportunity to have a huge rant/grumble/complain (no change there then), but then I thought that I'll keep this post specific to the wonderful IWSG and write another post later :).

So, as you might be aware, I'm aiming on having a first draft of my manuscript completed by the 19th June. And I really did not think about how close that date actually is!! The main thing that I'm worried about at the moment is not finishing it, or losing my enthusiasm for the whole project, which I really don't want to do - I really want to finish this novel and see where I can go from there! I haven't been able to work on it as much as I would have liked too lately, as I've been in Norfolk - I'm back in Oxford now, but this is just a flying visit before we set off up to the great wide yonder that is Cumbria for the rest of the week....which leaves me a week and a half to write about 100,000 words...hmm...

So my plan is this - to keep writing down notes and ideas whenever I can, and when I get back from Cumbria (or maybe today actually, don't think we have any plans this afternoon) I'm going to stick on The Dark Knight in the background for inspiration while I feverishly write. Hopefully everything will go okay!

Can't wait to go and read the rest of the IWSG posts! The Insecure Wruter's Support Group was set up by the wonderful Alex. J. Cavanaugh - you can find the link to the whole group and an explanation of the rules below:

Have a great day, everyone!


Monday, 4 June 2012

Just a few updates...

So sorry I've abandoned the blog-o-sphere over the past few days - I'm currently in Norfolk visiting the Other Half's family and celebrating the Jubliee! (It's times like this I don't mind being British...)

Anyway, just a quick update on my progress....

June 19th is approaching rather faster than I thought it would to be honest! Still, I am not going to let this deter me. I said that was my deadline for a rough first, complete draft and that is still my aim. I haven't been able to get much done over the past few days due to the aforementioned Norfolk trip, and towards the end of this week I may be heading up to Cumbria, which means I won't actually be able to write again til next week!! However, in order to help the writing process along, I'm still scribbling down notes whenever I have a moment (when I'm not being distracted by the new Kindle app on my phone that is!), so I should be okay when I finally crack on with it....hopefully...

Anyway, I was hoping you guys could also give me some advice. Before I made up my mind about the whole novel-writing-in-25-days thing, I did apply for a couple more full time jobs, and I've received the offer of an interview on Thursday - hooray!
However, I've got to be honest....I really don't want to go. I mean, I really don't want to go. I would LOVE to work in publishing, but at the moment, I really want my writing to take priority. I'm not in any position financially to be that choosy tbh, and the job market is appalling at the moment, but I guess I just feel like I've been waiting to become a writer for so long that that's all I want to do now. I really really don't want to go to the interview  - I mean, there's no guarantee I'd even get the job, so I know I COULD just go and see what happens (at the very least, it'll be a good experience) just that I really don't want to. I want my writing to be the focus right now. And I know, even if I do finish my novel by the deadline and polish it and edit it within the next month or two that there's no guarantee it would get published - I'm well aware of all the pitfalls and rejections writers have to face, but still, it doesn't stop me hoping that one day, it'll happen.

Oh, and the Other Half said it was completely up to me. He told me to do whatever I want to do, which is a really sweet thing for him to say, but I'm still no closer to a decision! I know it probably seems like such a small thing to get worked up over, but I've never rejected an interview before and I'm just not sure what to do now lol.

I don't know. Am I being too romantic and stupid? Should I just go to the interview anyway and see what happens? Or should I follow my heart and just spend the summer writing lol?

Have a great nights, folks!


Tuesday, 29 May 2012

I'm not complaining about the weather but.... is ridiculously hot.

I wouldn't normally mind, but I've started to get weird spot things on my arms, where I'm assuming I've been in the sun for too long,  so I've decided to take a break from the sun completely today. It's probably not a bad thing, as it'll mean I'll (hopefully) get more work done.

So, I was very pleased with my progress yesterday - managed to write over 10,000 words :O!! So that brings my entire total up to near enough 15,000! Not bad for a few days work I'm thinking....however, I didn't manage to get any writing done at the weekend, as we went to Somerset for a few days, so I guess I'm really just catching up on what I missed before.

Also, we're heading to Norfolk for five days tomorrow, which again, is going to severely cut into my writing time. I just feel like it would be a tad anti-social of me to sit there feverishly writing and ignoring all of the Other Half's family....but I think I will get some opportunity to write (I hope) - the Other Half has some work to do, and he said I could tag along to his workplace with him and sit and write, so I am quite looking forward to that :). Otherwise, I guess I'm just gonna have to do what I did over the weekend, and just keep scribbling down notes when I get a spare moment and then write them up when we get back.

So progress so far is coming along nicely! Although as I was writing yesterday, I did notice something that was wrong - I always knew that the beginning of my novel wouldn't be the beginning that the book would end up with (I was essentially just writing it so I could get some writing done), but I finally figured out what I can put in front of it, so the story makes sense lol. However, I have now realized that I have in effect started writing my book from about a quarter of the way through. Tad irritating, but I am looking forward to see what the beginning will actually look like!

I'll keep you updated throughout the day, and will hopefully get the chance to write up a more interesting blog post for you all later :). Have a great day, folks!


Friday, 25 May 2012

It's decision time...

Okay, so as you all know, I'm pretty obsessed with my latest WIP and I don't want to lose enthusiasm for it. Therefore I've decided that I am going to give myself a deadline for this novel.

Now, this deadline won't be for the final FINAL draft - it'll be for the first draft, with all it's mistakes and in need of serious editing. But I thought that after I've finished the first draft, I'll set another deadline to complete the whole thing by, and then another deadline for all the revisions etc etc...but we'll just stick with the first draft for now.

So, when will this deadline be, I hear you cry? Well, I've decided that it will be...(drum roll please)

Tuesday 19th June 2012!

That's right, I'm giving myself less than a month (in fact a nice, round 25 days) to complete a first draft of my book.

So why this date? Well, I was going to give myself until 1st July, but then I thought, I've always wanted to complete a novel by the time I was 16, by the time I was 18 and then, by the time I was 21. I've never managed to stick to these deadlines and the reason I chose the 19th June is because I graduate on 20th June. What better way to celebrate becoming a fully-fledged adult that forcing myself to work hard, and cry, and drink endless cups of tea into the small hours of the morning? Well, in all honesty, I've had enough practice at this, having been a student for the past three years.

So that's the plan. By midnight on 19th June 2012, I will have completed the first draft of my novel. If I finish it before then (Ha! Unlikely!) then I will start the process of editing it, but I think I'll just settle for a rough manuscript for now. I'm off to add a countdown timer to my blog now, so I won't forget!

What do you guys think? Have you ever given yourself a tight deadline to complete a novel in? Let me know your thoughts!


Of spiders and tea...

It's only 8am, and already I'm not having a good day...

Went to wash up the dishes this morning, and what do I find? A great big hairy spider in one of the sinks....and it wasn't one of the ones that you could ignore or leave was huge and scuttling around everywhere. So I washed it down the plughole with a load of washing up water - I did feel a bit bad because I didn't want to kill it, but it looked so horrible, I didn't want it anywhere near me! And then, when I went into the bathroom to go for a shower, I looked up and what do I see? TWO more spiders in the top corner of the shower! I freaked out and refused to go in...luckily, The Other Half finishes work early on a Friday, so he can come and sort it out for me before we leave for Yeovil :).

I don't know where all these spiders have come from. I mean, our house always seems to feature one or two, but for the last few days it's been ridiculous! I did have some windows open all day yesterday, but I think I would've noticed a dirty great spider crawling in!! Also, is it just me, or do spiders tend to congregate in bathrooms? Its like they think 'hmm, how can we annoy humans the most? I know, let's hide above the bath and drop down on them when we're least expecting it...'

 Anyway, before I start on a massive rant about how much I hate spiders, I think I may have decided on a deadline for my latest project...I'm going to treat today like another working day again (and if I really was at work, I'm sure I'd be getting a bollocking right now for being late and blogging when I'm supposed to be working...oh well) and see how I get on. I'll hopefully have made a finally decision by lunchtime :)!

Oh yeah, and as for the 'tea' part of this blog post - think I'm gonna have to go and make myself a nice strong mug of it to a) wake me up and b) help me get over the trauma of this morning....

OH - and I almost forgot to mention...A big hello and warm welcome to the two newest members of this blog :)!! Thanks for joining and I look forward to chatting with you :)!!

Have a great morning everyone! 


Thursday, 24 May 2012

A little something to end the day with...

I'm gonna warn you now- this is one of those rambling posts where I talk about my writing and nothing else. You have been warned...

So, as I said earlier, I was going to treat today as a full working day and I think this concept worked...kind of. I did stare blankly at the screen at 8am, wondering what to do, but once I got writing, that was it - when I next looked up, it was 12pm and time for dinner (or lunch, if you're from the South). This afternoon was slightly harder - mainly because I had to cook a lasagna for supper and once I'd finished that (in a rush, cos I was eager to get back to work), Mother Bear phoned for a chat and then one of my old friends from up North phoned for a chat straight this time, it was 5pm and the Other Half would be returning home soon. So I spent the rest of the time til 5.45pm looking up sample chapters from new YA books I'd heard about and downloading them onto my phone.

And now, well, I've got to be honest. I can't wait to start writing again. Even though I know the first chapter that I'm writing right now probably won't be the first chapter the novel will end up with, I'm just having fun writing it. In fact, I'm really excited about this project (not to sound too up myself or anything...) - but I think that's a good thing. Don't get me wrong, I was excited about my first WIP, but the motivation for that just kinda fizzled out. I will return to it at some point (I hope), but right now, I'm gonna focus on my new work and see where it leads me. Also, it's entirely possible that in another week, I'll have completely forgotten about this novel and will be working on something new, but we'll see how it goes.

Also, I think I am going to impose a deadline for the first draft of this novel. If I work as hard as I did today, it should be just about doable (she says!), but even if I don't stick to it, I am hoping that it'll make me work harder nonetheless. I'm gonna have a think about the deadline/time-span tonight and come to a decision tomorrow, so I'll let you know the plan then :)!

One last point - have got a few ideas for some more interesting posts, and I am aiming on doing some of them tomorrow too. Sorry this has been so boring! It'll liven up tomorrow again, I hope ;)!

Have a good night, folks!


Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Good Morning!

Inventive blog post title, I know! I'm going to keep this post short and sweet, as I know you won't want to be bombarded with my usual long, rambling thoughts this early in the morning...

Today I have decided to get up early, and treat it like a normal working day - which means writing from 8am to around 4pm. I'm actually quite looking forward to it - I really want to see if I'll be able to stay motivated, and also see how much further on with my novel I'll get...

I'm also tempted to set a deadline for when I should have completed the first draft of this novel. However, I know that I'm no good at sticking to my own deadlines (if it's coursework, I'm fine, in fact I always like to hand it in early!), but I'm hoping that if I post my progress on here, it may keep me motivated to keep going...

What do you think? Does setting your own deadlines help you with your writing? Do you manage to stick the deadlines that you set?

Let me know what you think!


Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Suny, sun, sun...and Pimms...and Cidre (not Cider)...

In case you haven't guessed by the title of this post (or, indeed, if you're not in the UK right now), it's gloriously sunny outside. I don't know what pattern English weather follows, but I reckon it must be one on it's own - there's nowhere else where you can have weeks of torrential rain and storms, then wake up the next day and it's suddenly 23 degrees C, as though it's always been summer....

So I've decided that I'm going to take my work outside with me, with a nice tall glass of Pimms with lemonade and spend the afternoon actually WORKING (see my previous post on working, or lack of, in the afternoons here). I'm quite looking forward to it - I haven't yet figured out all the fine plot details for my new book, but I'm not too bothered about that - I'll just see what comes to me. Instead, I'll be developing my characters a little more and maybe even writing some notes down for scenes. Hooray!

And later (when the Pimms runs out), I'm going to crack open a bottle of Stella's 'Cidre' - dunno what it'll taste like, but the advert looked good so I thought I'd try it. Has anyone else tried it yet? If so, how is it? Should I consume it all before the Other Half gets home, or leave it and tell him it was a present for him...?

...and yes, I am a sucker for advertising/mass consumerism....

Ooh, and I see I have two more members on this blog - a big warm welcome and a smiley hello to you all :)! Grab a drink, and come join me in my mad ramblings :)!...and before you ask, no, I haven't started on the alcohol yet...

Hope you're all having a great day, folks!


Monday, 21 May 2012

Why I don't like afternoons...

Afternoons are a funny thing. You wake up in the morning being (hopefully) bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, raring to go and ready for anything. In the evening, you're either settling down to watch TV or a lovable family film, before snuggling down into your nice, warm bed to drift off to the land of nod - or, you're getting excited about painting the town red and seeing your best girl (or guy) friends, before stumbling in at 3am and collapsing onto aforementioned warm bed....

Which leaves the afternoons. Afternoons are weird. They seem like they last forever, yet, it's only a few hours long. Maybe it's just because I don't have any more coursework to complete and I don't yet have a full-time job, but I always get into a lethargic state in the afternoons. It's that period of the day which SHOULD be the most productive....these four or five hours where it's just me and my imagination, and I should be cracking on with writing my first-ever literary bestseller....

Instead, I'm sitting here forcing myself to keep tapping at the keyboard, whilst constantly checking the clock and wondering whether it's acceptable to go for an afternoon nap. I'm twenty-one. I should not think that afternoon naps are acceptable. And yet, I find myself going for one more and more. Why? Because, honestly, it gives me something to do that isn't work or housework. Sad, isn't it?

I know, I know, I should be sitting here feverishly writing page after page after page....but all I want to do is sit and stare into space, until that magic hour of 4pm, when I'll jump up, make a cup of tea and have that long-waited for chocolate biscuit (or, judging by the state of my cupboards, a chewy/stale Caramel Snack-a-Jack). What is it about the afternoons that makes us so sluggish and, in my case, grumpy? Is it because, now that we've got (most of) the housework out of the way and eaten lunch, we simply want to hibernate until it's time to perk up again to make dinner?

The Duchess of Bedford had the right idea when she thought of Afternoon Tea...however, I'm finding it hard to muster the energy to go and turn the kettle on, let alone bake a Victoria Sandwich cake, a dozen scones and some macaroons thrown in for good measure.

So, how about you? How do you feel about the afternoons? Maybe you love them and, for you dear authors, it's your favourite time to sit down and write. Or maybe you're like me, and you're more of a morning person....or maybe there's just something medical wrong with me, and I better go and get checked out, pip pip.


"The Stylish Blogger's Award..." - Thank You!

Yesterday I was delighted to see that Gossip_Grl awarded me a 'Stylish Blogger's Award' and I would just like to say thank you to her for thinking of me! It's my first ever blogger's award and naturally, I was excited to see that I'd been mentioned!

So, the way that the award works is that:

1. Thank and link back to the person who awarded you this award
2. Share five things about your blog
3. Award five recently discovered great bloggers
4. Contact these bloggers and tell them about the award!

(All thanks must go to Gossip_Grl for the above list - I shamelessly took it from her blog! Hope you don't mind :)!!)

So, the five nuggets of information I'm going to share with you lovely people are:

1. I started this blog to share my journey/thoughts on the writing/publishing process (with quite a lot of random thoughts thrown in).
2. I promote this blog A LOT on have been warned.
3. Everyone who's commented on this blog, or whose blog I've visited, have been amazingly friendly and supportive - this is way I want to be an author, so I can hang out with lovely people all day long!
4. I always mean to add more info/tabs to this blog, but somehow, I never get round to it...
5. I have a very short concentration span - I'm currently not working on any of my WIPs mentioned on this blog and have decided to start something completely new instead!

I'm off to award my own five 'Stylish Blogger's Award' now, so I will be back soon with yet another post updating my progress on my current WIP!


Friday, 18 May 2012

Holy Fizzsticks! Motivation?! Me?! Well I never....

Okay, so if you follow me on Twitter, you'll notice that this morning that I said I was signing off the interweb for an hour or so to concentrate on writing. I have a confession to make....I broke that resolution after about ten minutes.

BUT, I wasn't social networking or procrastinating - I was looking up ways to write out a plot outline. You would think, after having an interest in writing for about ten years and studying Publishing for the last three, I'd have some idea about how to write out a plot outline. Don't get me wrong - I've done it before, but the reason I was looking it up was because I was just wondering if there was any easier way of writing down a plot where you're not too sure yourself what's going to happen...and there isn't.

Turns out the easiest thing to do is to just....write.

Okay, let me explain - I am not currently working on any of the WIP's I have mentioned on this blog. Over the last week, a new idea for a novel/series has come to me and this time, I decided to give into the SNI (Slutty New Idea). Why? Because my old manuscript was frustrating me and I wanted to try something new. So I let this idea develop in my head and in a series of rambling notes on my phone, and today I decided to bite the bullet and do something about it.

It's very VERY likely that I'll give up on this idea after today. But I really hope I don't. So far this morning I've written the prologue to the book, fleshed out a few major plot lines and, the most fun bit in my opinion, written about my characters. I'm not generally into the whole 'what's your character's favourite colour?' and 'which side of the bed do they sleep on?' level of detail that most authors go into when thinking about their characters. I like letting my characters develop and see where they take me - to me, it's a lot more fun discovering that they hate cheese halfway through a story, rather than pigeon-holing them right at the start.

I've only taken one brief break to pop to the shop, make a cup of tea and write this post. I'm going to go straight back into it now - I'm terrified that if I leave this idea for more than 30 mins, I'll lose all motivation - so I'm going to develop it some more now!

Oh yeah, I also had a thought that in order to keep me interested in this project, I might try and complete a draft of the first book within 30 days, just to see if I can do it. Have any of you fellow authors ever attempted this?? If so, how did it go?

I'd love to hear from you! Let me know your writing motivation thoughts/horror stories!


I'm back!...Again...

So it's been a while since I last posted...what with finishing uni/education FOREVER, applying for every job I see, having (occasional) interviews and then toddling back up to North for a week, it's been pretty hectic...I can't actually believe how fast time is going at the moment....

Before I begin, I see that in my absence I've acquired a couple of new members to my blog! A big warm hello and welcome to all of you :)! Don't be scared...yes, I am a bit crazy.... :) 

I'm going to try and keep this short and sweet (and writing related!), although knowing me, it'll just end up being a huge ramble about nothing anyway...

I've really been looking forward to finishing uni - not just because it means I'll never have to do another piece of coursework again, but also because it means I'll finally have the time to do what I want to do...mainly write, play The Sims and, in all honesty, bum around a bit...

However, even though I now have the time to do all these things, I'm getting a funny feeling that I'll do what I always do when I have free time...nothing. Even though I have the whole day ahead of me, I know that I'll probably end up just reading Harry Potter for a majority of the day, and wandering around aimlessly for the rest. Not really that productive, is it?

So, I've been thinking - in order to keep myself motivated, I might try working on several different writing projects at once. I know, I know, you're not supposed to do this as you'll lose focus/won't get anything done/brain will turn to mush etc etc, but I want to try to see how I get on - if it gets too much, I can always just leave one project and focus on another. My rationale behind this is that I hope it'll keep me interested in writing - don't get me wrong, I want to be an author more than anything, but even I have to admit that I have serious attention focusing I'll try this approach to writing and see what happens...

So what about all you lovely fellow authors? Any of you out there currently working on several different projects? If so, how's it going? Does it make it easier to write, knowing that you can take a break from one project to do another? Or is it incredibly hard?

I'd love to know your thoughts!


Wednesday, 2 May 2012

IWSG #2!

Okay, so I just thought I'd quickly scribble this down before I forget...gosh, I can't believe it's been a month already since the last IWSG...where does the time go???

Today's post isn't going to be a long one - I'm currently trying to finishing my VERY LAST PIECE OF COURSEWORK EVER and it needs to be done by 12.30pm on Friday....sssoo, I haven't actually done a lot of writing lately! Been too busy stressing about uni work/life after education/life in general....

So, the last time I wrote for the IWSP, I said about how I hated my manuscript and wanted to burn it - think I've slowly gotten over that phase now, although I am still having trouble focusing my mind on that one piece of work - random scenes keep popping into my head for other novel ideas - it's useful cos I've scribbled them down and can use them in later literary works of art - not so useful because it's slightly distracting me from what I'm supposed to be doing...but still, I'll just keep slogging away until I run out of ideas/steam :).

I'm sorry this post is so short - I may add to it later, but I've really got to get on with my coursework today :(. But I'm looking forward to seeing everyone else's IWSG posts during my lunch break :)!

Happy Wednesday, everyone!


Thursday, 19 April 2012

Do you see a pattern here...?

Okay, so at the start of Easter I had all these plans to sit down and write, update my blog, get a few more author interviews done, etc etc....annnd I'm going back to uni today and I'm sorry to say I haven't achieved much over the past two weeks...

Firstly, as I think I've already said, when I tried to work on my manuscript at the start of Easter, I started hating it and I never wanted to see it again...luckily, I think that phase is over now (I opened up my manuscript yesterday and no longer wanted to throw it on the fire), but I still couldn't get into writing it.

As for the blog, I have a confession to make - I've simply been too lazy to post much. Terrible, I know! But once I realised this, I realised something else as well. Like I said, I'm back at uni from today (well, should have been the start of the week, but I only have lectures on Thursdays and Fridays) - and look at that, should I have a miraculous urge to blog and write etc etc. This is a pattern which I seem to follow quite a lot - if I have nothing to do but write, I'll deliberately find anyhting else to do but write, but the second I actually have work to do, all I want to do is write! Ahh, it's a vicious circle....

Anyway, on the plus side, I had an okay day yesterday. I put on 'Twilight' (and yes, I do hate the books and films, but the reason I put them on in the background is cos it gives me the determination to write ANYTHING that's better than that drivel) and it gave me the inspiration to write a scene which suddenly popped into my head. It wasn't anything to do with the novel I'm currently writing, or even any of the novel ideas I've scribbled down - it was just a scene that I had to write about! I'm hoping that more inspiration will come soon, so I can see where this story is going....

Also, after I wrote the scene, it gave me a thought - it is a good idea to work on several different stories at once? I was thinking that if you got bored with one story, you could then just switch and start on another, but would this disrupt your ideas too much? Is it better just to stick with one plot/story so you know you'll get it finished, or is it a good idea to take a break from what you're working on for a a while and write something different? I'd love to know what you think!

Have a great day folks!

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

IWSG Post #1!

Hello fellow Insecure Writers!

I'm sorry I missed last month's posting, but I'll make up for it this month :).

So I've just got back into writing after a rather hefty break (thank you coursework...) and I was rather enjoying myself....until yesterday....

On Monday I spent the whole day writing, and although I didn't get quite get everything done that I wanted to, I thought I'd made a pretty good start considering I had to re-write my second chapter from scratch. Although I'm pretty pleased with my opening chapter at the moment, whenever I look at my second chapter I think 'hmm, yeah, well it's ok....'. 

Yesterday I met up with the Writing Buddy and we sat in a cafe and wrote/gossiped/drank tea for a majority of the day. I let her read my work and although she said it was good, I got this horrible cringey feeling in my stomach and I didn't want her to read any more....I don't know why I was so embarrassed by it - I know it's far from finished, but normally I don't mind when she reads my unfinished work....

I don’t know what it is, but right now I'm suffering from a major case of insecurity. I'm constantly asking myself is my work is good enough? Will anyone ever want to publish it? Will anyone ever want to read it if I self-publish it? Is this novel really worth all this effort? Should I just give up right now and devote my life to something else?

I guess I just don't feel like my work is good enough right now and to make matters worse, I've been thinking of a lot of other story ideas and have been so so tempted to start them instead...but I know that the pattern will just keep repeating itself of starting a book, getting nervous and then never finishing it. I read a blog post once were they referred to this as a 'slutty new idea' and I laughed out loud because, unfortunately, it's so true. The new idea will come along and start whispering seductively in your ear about how great it is, and how you should abandon what you're doing and start writing it right now....and then it buggers off halfway through and another one takes its place.

Anyway, despite what I've said above, I'm determined not to be defeated this time. Which is why I taking off today, sitting in the cafe again and writing til I can write no more! This book IS worth it!

So that's all from me! Looking forward to seeing everyone else's neurotic blog posts for the first time :), and of course I shall try and offer any consolation/tea/hugs that I can :).

Have a great day everyone!


Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Happy Days!

So I just thought I'd share with you what's been going on in my random little world today...

I've spent the day in a cafe with the Writing Buddy, trying to get back into the swing of writing again after the nightmare of coursework/university/student life. Needless to say, we probably did more chatting and gossiping than actual writing, but it felt good to get out of the home and be (slightly) productive. I might pop into town by myself tomorrow and do it all over again....

However, the last time the Writing Buddy saw my novel, the first chapter was a pile of poo and I had no idea how I was going to inject some life into the damn thing. However, since then, I've completely re-written the beginning of my novel and it's ever so slowly starting to take shape. So I guess I'm just going to have to keep going and see what happens.

And if anything should give me the motivation to keep going, it should be this. Congratulations to Lindsay! The synopsis to 'The Murder Complex' sounds amazing, and I can't wait to read it! And it also gives me hope that there's still hope for my own dystopian YA novel!!

In other news....I HAVE A JOB INTERVIEW!!!!

So so so nervous/excited! Can't believe I have an interview for a real, proper grown-up job! I', not going to say any more in case I jinx it, but I'll let you know how it goes! Eek!

So how's your writing coming on?? I'd love to hear from YOU, so maybe I'll get a bit more motivated tonight and write some more!

(Also tonight: I'm planning on writing my blog post for the Insecure Writer's Support Group. I missed it last month, and I'm determined not to do it again! The link to the group is here if you wanna check it out :) ).

Have a good rest-of-the-day everyone!


Monday, 2 April 2012

Another Sunny Afternoon...

I've really got to start thinking up of more creative blog post titles...but when I'm just rambling on, there seems to be no point in using fancy wordplay etc etc (however, if you do think of any interesting blog titles, do let me know :P).

Anyway! So, an update on today's work....

I have a confession to make....I may have slight have had an afternoon nap...for an hour...and a half....

But, my defence, I have been up since 5am AND I did write all morning and get a majority of my jobs/errands done SO, all in all it's been quite a productive day! (for me, I mean - this is coming from someone who generally plays the sims all day every day for the duration of the holidays, so I'd say I've done quite well so far!) Also, I don't know if I mentioned this on a previous post, but I did find whilst doing my major project that I work better in the afternoon.night - and as it's only 3.15 here in sunny England, I do have the rest of the day/night to finish off what I wanted to get done today on my novel :)!

I've just checked the word count on what I've done so far today - and rather disappointingly, it stands at 1075 (total word count is 12,835). However, I refuse to be disheartened! Although this doesn't sound like it represents an ENTIRE MORNING'S worth of work, I have rewritten an entire chapter from scratch. So maybe it's not too bad after all....

How about you guys :)? How's your writing coming on today??


Good Morning All!

Good morning, everyone! Hope you all had a lovely relaxing/productive/sunny weekend :)!

I'm finally on my Easter break from uni - hooray! I'm really gonna miss having long holiday periods when I finally get a real job....

Anyway, the point of this post is just to inform everyone that I can finally start writing again - yay! I've been so busy having a mental breakdown with coursework I haven't had the time or the will to write/blog/tweet or go on Authonomy :(. I do still have a couple of smaller pieces of coursework due in after Easter, but this week I'm taking off to do what I want to do!

Yesterday, I was really looking forward to sitting down and writing today, but when I got up at 5am for work, all I wanted to do was crawl back into bed! However, once I'd woken up a bit (two hours of cleaning a supermarket will do that to you), I decided that NO, I was NOT going to put my PJs back on slink back into bed - I was going to write, dammit!

So here I am! I've got my mug of coffee and my slice of toast next to me, Radio 2 is on in the background (though may have to change that to my own rock beats in a while to get myself in the zone) - I'm all set! I've just got two more little jobs to tick off my 'to do' list, then I'm free to write!

I'll let you know how I'm getting on....

Have a great Monday, everyone!


Thursday, 29 March 2012

Morning all...

I don't think I've mentioned on here that I've got myself a job. Don't get too excited - it's cleaning a supermarket 4 days a week, from 6-8am. Not too impressed with the hours tbh, but any money is better than no money!

Anyway, the reason I mention it is because on those four days I now have to get up at 5am. Which means on the other three days, I really REALLY don't want to get up. I normally get up at 6.45am to have breakfast with the Other Half before he wanders off to work, but this week, I've been sleeping in til about 9am  -I know it's not too good to mess up your sleeping pattern so much, but I'm just so damn tired from waking up early the other days of the week!

Anyway, point of this pointless story is, I have another piece of coursework due in tomorrow. Nothing major, just 1000 word report, but I still haven't started it....I don't normally leave my coursework so late, but tbh, my major project took a lot of me - all I wanted to do this week is ABSOLUTELY NOTHING. Which is exactly what I did do. I thought I'd get up at 7am today and crack on with it....but no. Instead I slept in til 9am and now I'm finding it hard to be motivated over anything....however, one thing my major project did teach me, is that I think I work better at night. I used to wake up early with the intention of doing work all day, but I just couldn't force myself to do it. So it would get to about 4pm and suddenly I'd have a flash of inspiration and I could work until about 10pm or 11pm. I'm going to try and not do that today, but I probably will...

And I keep thinking that it's only 1000 words...after my major project, that literally seems like nothing. My major project itself was 10,000 words. The reflective report (without the appendices or bibliography) was 11,000. So you can see why I'm not too fussed about 1000 words anymore. I'm aiming on having half of it done by lunchtime....but we'll see :). I'll keep you updated!

Have a great day, everyone!


P.S. This post is 377 words (excluding this post-script), and I wrote it in 10 minutes. If I do this for my report, based on my calculations, the report will take me about 25 minutes to complete....though of course, that's a load of bull because I can't just ramble about anything I want in my report....

Wednesday, 28 March 2012


Hi everyone!!

I'm so sorry I've been neglecting this blog/twitter/authonomy over the past few weeks - I had to complete my major project for my degree and it literally took up every waking hour I had...

Luckily, that's all over with now! Handed it in last week (a day early too :p!) so for the past few days I've literally done bugger all....I did contemplate writing for a bit, but tbh, I just wanted to relax and unwind for a while! However, I'm starting to feel slightly more alive now, so I think I might try and get back into it today/this week. I do have another piece of coursework due in on Friday, so I might do that before anything else, but as it's only a thousand words, it shouldn't take me too long :).

I hope everything's been well with all of you lovely people....and I apologize in advance for the amount of spamming I'm about to do again on your twitter feeds :P!

Have a great day!


Friday, 9 March 2012

Author Interview #1!!

Here it is! The one you've all been waiting for (I hope)!! I am very pleased to welcome the lovely Lucy Middlemass onto my blog today, and a very big thank you to her for agreeing to let me interview her, and for being so patient while I got round to uploading it!! Read on, and enjoy....

Jinger Barley and The Murkle Moon
So, what’s the story with Jinger Barley and the Murkle Moon
It's about the famous mountain town of Murkle and its incredible wandering Moon. Up at the school, ancient astronomer Arthur Oldham and his terribly indecisive teacher friend Ms Flapp are trying to discover why it wandered on Millennium Eve when it knew full well it wasn't supposed to. 
Jinger Barley has started at the Murkle school and just wants to makes friends but the other children and the Moon are hiding something that will change her life forever. There's magic in Murkle and danger too, and Jinger, her school friends and the astronomers are linked by the Moon in a way they never could have imagined.
What gave you the inspiration for the novel?
I like eccentric, flawed characters and the idea of a world slightly different from our own.The image of an old man who death seems to have passed by has been with me for a long time, and I've often wondered what life might be like for twins born either side of midnight on Millennium Eve. Some parts of the story are real; Felix's choking so horribly on a piece of meat is based on something that happened to my father when he was a little boy and Mr Baldwin's work with the arctic foxes is a well-known genuine experiment.
Jinger Barley is quite an unusual name - how did you come up with it?
 Jinger Barley is a twin. Her pretty sister Jessica seems to have everything, including a sensibly spelt name. I wanted their names to match as a reminder that although Jinger manages to escape her bullying twin when she leaves for the school in Murkle, it is difficult for her to ever be really free of her.
How long did Jinger Barley take you to write?
 About a year. I wrote full time for three months and then edited it. It's been harder than I expected but I hope that anyone reading the book feels more than anything the fun I've had writing it and how much I've come to love Arthur, Ms Flapp, Jinger and her friends.
How long have you been writing for?
 I wrote lots of stories when I was little, stapling bits of paper together into booklets and pestering people to read them. As an adult, I worked with children and young people so it seemed natural that I would write for them. Jinger Barley and The Murkle Moon is my first full length novel.
What’s your favourite book?
 The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova is wonderful. It's an incredibly well researched, imaginative and fresh story about finding and killing Dracula. 
...And your favourite author?
 I like Sarah Waters very much. Her novels are clever, surprising and original. The Night Watch is backwards!
If you could live in another world out of any novel, which would it be and why?
 I'd like a daemon, like Lyra has in Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials. While I've been writing Jinger Barley and The Murkle Moon I've had my cat Tabitha on my knee so much it's feels like I've already got one, although I'm not sure a daemon would drop quite so much fur.
If you could be any mythical creature, what would you be and why?
The shifters in Charlaine Harris' Sookie Stackhouse novels have a lot of fun. 
If you could invite three authors (living or dead) to a dinner party, who would you invite an why?
 I'd like Margaret Atwood for her longevity and enduring feminism, Zadie Smith for her astonishing, sprawling stories and the fantastic Mr Roald Dahl who taught so many of us to love books.
What are your writing plans for the future?
 I've got my second novel, Goliath Swat and The Murkle Moon, to the editing stage. It's about astronomer Arthur's childhood and his buck-toothed smirking companion Goliath Swat. The Murkle Moon hasn't finished with the children yet and Felix discovers that although he won't have the future he is so desperate for, he has rather a wonderful magical destiny all of his own.
And finally/most do prefer tea or coffee?
This is a decision poor Ms Flapp finds impossible to make but fortunately I have no such trouble. Tea please and possibly a biscuit.

Thank you Rachel for inviting me to be part of your blog. The complete Jinger Barley and The Murkle Moon is available to read on

Thursday, 8 March 2012

Author Blog Interview Revealed!!

So finally FINALLY, I've got my act together and I am very pleased to announce that the first lovely author who agreed to let me interview her is....

Lucy Middlemass!

Lucy is the author of 'Jinger Barley and the Murkle Moon', a truly amazing Young Adult novel that will keep you gripped all the way through! She's a lovely woman, and I'm so sorry I made her wait so long for me to upload her interview! Hopefully she can forgive me :)!

Before I upload the interview, you can check out Lucy's Authonomy page here, as well as reading her book 'Jinger Barley and the Murkle Moon' here! Check it out!

So, Lucy's interview should, I repeat SHOULD, be uploaded this afternoon...providing my laptop doesn't break/I get another migraine/I don't go for an afternoon nap....

Can't wait to share it with everyone!!


(P.S. I hope these links work...but you may have to have an Authonomy account/be logged into Authonomy...I'm not too sure...if anyone could let me know, that'd be great!)

Morning Coffee and an Apology...

First things first...

I can't believe I missed posting my first post in the Insecure Writer's Support Group!! I'm so annoyed at myself - I even wrote it in my diary so I didn't forget...but what did I go and do? I didn't take my diary out with me yesterday so I forgot :|....I'd just like to apologise to everyone for not posting - I have now made a note on every first Wednesday of the month in my diary (until August, that is, when my diary runs out lol) AND I've added an alert to my phone, so it'll remind me every first Wednesday of the there really isn't any excuse for me to miss it again!!

I would also like to apologise for not visiting anyone else's blog and commenting - this is due to two reasons: a) I forgot to post/go on the internet and b) I am currently very wary of visiting other blogs, given what happened to my laptop last week. However, after I hand in my big piece of coursework in two weeks time, my laptop can do whatever the hell it wants, so I should be able to visit more blogs in April :). But thank you to those of you who took the time to visit my blog and comment, even though I hadn't posted anything or visited your blog :)!

Finally - I am so sorry I haven't yet uploaded my author interview. It has been really unprofessional of me, especially since it was supposed to come out more than a week ago. However, as you're aware, my laptop did break the very day I was supposed to upload it/reveal my author,  and then I was very ill over the weekend....this week has been pretty busy with uni stuff, but if I'm completely honest, it hasn't been busy enough for me NOT to post it. Therefore, as soon as I post this, I'm making a new post to reveal the lovely author I interviewed and I shall be uploading it later today!! Sorry for the wait, guys!!

Oh, and I think my dose of morning coffee is getting earlier and earlier....I used to be able to last until around 9 before I got a caffeine I can't make it fast enough! Oh well!

Have a good day, everyone!


Thursday, 1 March 2012

Just a few updates...

So after being unable to get to my blog for the past few days (yes, I know I was online, but after getting that virus, I REALLY didn't feel comfortable going on the internet for long periods of time!), I'm just going to give you all a quick update on what's been going on...

Author Interview: 

This is still on, folks! So long as I don't get another virus between now and 7pm (how's that for tempting fate...), I shall be revealing all!! Can't wait to share who the lovely author is, and then I'll post up the interview tomorrow afternoon!

Book Updates:

Not much to report here - haven't had any time to write for a few days due to coursework deadlines! But I have managed to finish the first chapter (of the first draft) of 'Snowglobe' :) - hooray!

And a little something to finish with...

For part of my coursework, I've had to produce/mock up my own book of short stories (studying publishing rocks), and today, I finally received two copies of my book from :)!! It's so pretty! I'm so happy with it - I just wished I'd actually managed to finish it, instead of leaving three quarters of it blank....but anyway, here's a few photos of it, just for you :):

Let me know what you think!

Tuesday, 28 February 2012

An Unfortunate Piece of News...

I know yesterday that I pormised to reveal the author of my first interview etc etc, but it just goes to show, that no one can predict what technology will do....

As soon as I posted my last blog post last night, I went onto another blog and decided to follow it - the second I clicked the 'follow' button, about 9 anti-virus messages popped up and then the internet closed down...and so did the Word doc I'd been working on (don't worry, I'd saved shortly before this happened!). So I turned it off and on again, and when I did, ALL the icons from my desktop had gone and all my files and about a million error messages came up, along with a so-called 'system scan' telling me I had numerous hardware faults....

Yup, that's right. My laptop has fallen sick with a virus.

I wasn't annoyed because I could no longer upload the blog post I'd been hoping to do last night, or the fact that it closed down my documents, I was just terrified because if it had wormed it's way onto my flash pen (which was connected to the laptop at the time)...I'd have been screwed. All my major project work that I've been working on since the summer (and it's due in 3 weeks) was on there, along with all the important files I need for the rest of my c/w. Basically, I would've had a mental breakdown!

Luckily, that wasn't the case. Although the Other Half couldn't fix it (it died completely on him), we did manage to find a computer company near us that was happy for us to take it in, despite the fact it was 7pm. The nice man also checked my flash pen and to my relief, there was no sign of a virus on there.

I'm currently waiting on a call (he said he'd ring today) telling me aboutt he fate of my laptop. The Other Half seemed confident it could be fixed, although he did tell me repeatedly that it was time to upgrade to a new laptop (The OS failed last summer too...although I won't admit it to him, I think he might be right...ggrr...).

So, essentially, I have no laptop of my own, although I am currently using the Other Half's laptop instead. I think I will still try to post up about my interview this afternoon, but I probably won't be able to upload the interview itself until Thursday or Friday...a bit of bummer, but better than nothing!

Oh, and I also won't be following any more blogs for a while - I've kind of lost faith in the 'follow' button!

That's all for now! Have a good day, everyone!

Monday, 27 February 2012

It's coming...

Yes, that's right, I've finally managed to persuade one of the lovely authors over on the Authonomy site to let me interview them for my first ever blog interview :)!!

I'm so excited! I'll be revealing all in about an hour's time, and the interview itself will be coming on Wednesday, so it's an exciting week for both me and everyone at Authonomy!

Plus, I've (briefly) been chatting to a few of the other authors on the site, and they seem happy to let me interview them too! So I've got a few more interviews in the pipeline for you :)! In regards, to book reviews, I literally haven't had the time to read through all the books on the Authonomy site that I would have liked to, but one day I'll get round to it....for now, however, I'm going to stick with interviewing these amazing authors :).

Stay tuned for more info...

Sunday, 26 February 2012

Ah, sunny Sundays...

I feel like what with the weather getting warmer, I should be outside doing something active...instead I've spent all day inside in my hole, reading and watching TV.... occasionally taking breaks to see what's happening on Twitter/the blogosphere/shutting the curtains so the light doesn't interfere with the TV screen....

I've also added a few more notes to the story idea I wrote about seems as though I can go ages without thinking about it, but then I'll randomly start wondering how the story is going to unfold, and what this character will look like and what that other character will say in this particular scene etc etc...I actually have to force myself to STOP thinking about it, because I don't want to get too distracted from my other stories/coursework! I'm really looking forward to seeing how it turns out might, just might be the beginning of a brand new series...but we'll have to wait and see...

What about you? Have you ever thought of a story idea and had to actually stop thinking about it, because you've got too much to think about already??

Also, I have an exciting announcement to make this evening...tune in later when I'll be revealing the author for my first ever Authonomy interview :)! Eek, so excited to be saying this :)!! I shall reveal all later....


Saturday, 25 February 2012

Here we go again...

So, I should be doing coursework. And I will start it....just not right now....ahem...

Instead of doing work, I got a bit distracted by, yup, that's right ANOTHER new story idea.

Don't get me wrong, I love thinking of plot lines/wondering if it can be made into a novel/scribbling it down to remember for later, it's just incredibly frustrating that I can't actually start any of these new ideas yet, because I've got so many others that I'm currently working on!

One day I'll be able to sit down and write for a living, and when that time comes, I can take my time thinking about each story idea and deciding which ones are worth pursuing. It'll take me a while, but I'll be happy knowing that I'll actually have the time to write each one properly.

And if you're thinking, hang on, why not just sit down and bang them all out now? Here's why - because I refuse to sit down and write a book a day, unlike some self-published 'authors' I could mention - because the end result will be a poor, shoddy piece of work that won't make sense and will need an unbelievable amount of editing to make it worthy of publishing (if it's even worth publishing). I want to take my time with my ideas, think them through properly and make sure that there's actually a story there. So many times I've written down a story idea to use for later, but deep down I know that it's not worth it. Sad, but it's all part of being an author - using your own judgement to decide which ideas are or are not good enough to spend time and effort writing.

So how about you? Do you ever think of an idea, but either scrap it later on or do you manage to work it into your novel somehow?

Thursday, 23 February 2012

Another day, another post...

So I don't really have a topic for this post...again, it's just a general whine/ know you love it really...

I should be doing work - I found out yesterday that my lecture I should have this afternoon got cancelled, which immediately made me think 'hooray! I'll have more time to do work tomorrow!'...which was a good thing cos I wasted two hours yesterday talking to the man who came to install our new exercise machine and although I didn't get any work done, he did give me some amazing story ideas...

Anyway, I did do a lot of uni work yesterday, but I've got a LOT still to do, but I'm in that mood where I really cba! All I've done so far this morning is lurk on authonomy, write a review and found some more books to well as obsessively checking twitter every 5 minutes and tweeting random crap.

I know I say this every time I post, but I honestly cannot wait until I can make writing my full-time job - then I needn't feel guilty whenever I write a chapter of my novel instead of doing coursework, and I can blog about something interesting instead of whining about stated coursework! Still, that day will come soon'll actually be pretty scary when I finally finish education forever and I'm thrown out into the big bad world of work!

Have a good day, folks!


Tuesday, 21 February 2012

You've been tagged!...ahem...

So, it's been a while since I've been in the blogosphere properly (in the blogosphere? On the blogosphere? Who knows), but I'm delighted to find that I have a whole six followers to this blog :)! Hooray for social networking!

Anywho, Julia Salyer was kind enough to tag me in one of her posts, so, here are my answers to her questions :)!:

  • What is the nicest thing someone has ever done for you?....the Other Half is continually nice to me, but he once booked a surprise trip to London, just for the hell of it :).
  • Who is your favorite author? Oh dear, this is a tough one! I'm gonna have to say J.R.R. Tolkien!
  • If you could travel anywhere in the world, all expenses paid, where would it be? Australia, New Zealand, then hope across the pond and travel right across America.
  • What's one addiction you have? Tea!
  • What is your favorite time of day? Sunset/Night time :)
  • Favorite food? Cake!
  • What inspires your writing the most? Music :) - and my weird dreams lol
  • What is one pet peeve you have? Cyclists - STOP RUNNING RED LIGHTS!
  • If you could have a super power what would it be? Does Wolverine's claws/healing ability count as a superpower??
  •  Do you have a pet? At my parent's house I do - Bess, our annoying little wired haired fox terrier :). Oh, plus 80 cows, 20 calves and 7 cats :)
  •  If you had to change your name, and pick it, what would you change it to? I quite like my name...despite the fact that I constantly get people asking me if Robert Pattinson is my brother....but I like the name Rae! (...and no, he isn't, in case you're wondering ;) ).

  • So there you have it! A small insight into me and my loves/hates :)! I'm gonna give this a whirl now, and try and tag people to answer my questions :)!...but I'll probably do it wrong's my chosen bloggers:

    1. Jessica Salyer
    2. Murees Dupe (apologies for the no accent - I don't know how to get it!!)
    3. Emma Lauren
    4. Misha Gericke
    And your questions....

    • Tea or coffee?
    • What is your favourite childhood book?
    • Cats or dogs?
    • What is your favourite film?
    • Roses or lilies?
    • If you were stuck on a desert island, what three things would you take with you, and why?
    • Chocolate or crisps?
    • What kind of topping do you like on your pancakes?
    • Flora or fauna?
    • What is your favourite film adaption of a book?

    Happy blogging :)! I'm looking forward to seeing all your answers :)!