When Real Life Impacts

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This is going to be a slightly different catch up regarding my WIP but hopefully you will understand why.

2015 has not started off well for me, first I started it without a functioning laptop, then once that was replaced I discovered that my Dropbox had not updated for around a month before the old machine had died, luckily I had printed off hard copies to edit of all the fully completed stories so they are easy enough to update and hope I will be able to fill in the blank spaces in other stories from memory.  The biggest challenges to my writing have come from my personal life but they will also be the motivation to push on and succeed.

Firstly on New Years Eve my relationship with the monsters father came to an end once again with no hopes of salvage this time.  I do not wish to go into specifics let us just say sometimes too much has happened and not only is there too much water under the bridge but the bridge has been well and truly washed away.

Then a few days into 2015 my grandma was taken in to hospital.

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On Sunday she passed away, I am of course heart broken but know she is now free from the pain and indignities which accompanied her in her final weeks.  I am so glad I took the time to listen to her stories and take what knowledge I could from her about the family history so that I can pass it on in turn to my children.  She taught me so much over the years and her loss will leave a gap in my heart I do not think can ever be filled.  Her passing has made me more determined than ever to live life to the fullest and do every thing in my power to fulfil my dreams, and she has taught me that we get from life what we are determined to strive for the only thing that holds us back are our own barriers and fear.

RIP Grandma, until we meet again I will miss you xxx

Telly Box Tuesday, Murder & Intrigue

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This is the first of a new series that I did start once before, however this time instead of focussing on one episode of a programme I want to do a more general post on what I have been watching in the last week.

So the first thing I have been watching is a backlog of programmes on murderers and their crimes that I recorded over Christmas.  One of them has been a show called Most Evil which features four or five killers in each episode and attempts to put them on a scale showing who committed the worst crimes.  I find this fascinating because how do you judge one crime against another, is it the number of victims, the way they are killed, the innocence of the victim? I do confess that personally I always think the most heinous of crimes are any which include children but this show makes you question whether a child being killed with a quick single blow is more evil than a prostitute tortured and raped for hours and enduring a slow painful death.  I do not always agree with the decisions they reach in scaling the featured killers but it is interesting to see how psychologists view things differently to members of the public.

The other thing I was really excited to watch this last week was the first part of Wolf Hall.  I have the book but have not read it yet and will now wait until after the series is finished before even thinking about it.  I have always been fascinated by the Tudors but have always been less interested in the religious and political issues.  Of course the main points are known generally but this looks indepth at the struggles and characters behind the scenes pulling the strings and some how managed to make them more human.  I always though of Cromwell as his role rather than a person but the tragedies in his personal life as portrayed in this programme had me in tears.

This is a quick clip from the first part shown last week…

And this is a trailer for tomorrow nights episode, which I am really looking forward to…

My other favourite programme on at the minute is the Voice but as I missed this weeks episode I will talk about that next week once I catch up.

Book Review – Jane Slayre By Charlotte Bronte and Sherri Browning Erwin

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The first book review of 2015, the question is will we be off to a 5 star beginning…

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Jane Slayre is of course an adaptation of Jane Eyre, unlike fan fiction is does not contribute to the story as such rather it takes the original work and changes the genre and feel for it, hence the fact the original author remains credited.

This book brings into Jane Eyre’s world a host of supernatural beings, vampires, zombies, in the same way Jane Austen’s Pride & Prejudice was infiltrated, however it does not seem to quite have the same attraction as that adaptation had.

I think the problem comes with the actually text, if you have never read Jane Eyre then you may totally love this, however, if like me you have read the book numerous times and love it you will find yourself literally picking out huge passages which have been lifted directly from the original.  This would have worked so much better had they just written the story of a girl like Jane Eyre rather than trying to use that actual story, for me it just lacks something, and does not have quite enough originality to pull it off.

I am going to keep this review short because there is really not much to say, it is an easy read and for younger readers unfamiliar with Jane Eyre it may even be a good way to tempt them towards reading the classics but for me personally it is like a film remake, even with added special effects they never live up to the original.

I give this 3 out of 5, which seems okay until you consider without the vampires and zombies Jane Eyre is a 5 out of 5 all day long.

Almost There

Yesterday the replacement laptop arrived, it is an older model, probably an ex showroom model, it is windows 7 and has half the memory of my previous laptop but it works and is perfectly usable until I can save up for another.  it would be easy to wallow in lost files, it seems Dropbox had not updated itself for a month or so before the computer died, but not all is lost, the majority of my files are available via memory stick or Dropbox, previous research I had done is stored in Evernote, and with the exception of Office and my video editing software I have re-installed everything I need to start being productive once more.  Thankfully my old-fashioned method of editing on hard copy has worked in my favour and over half of Voices had been printed off and edited, the rest may take a few weeks to get back into shape but it is not a disaster.  I have my Scrivener to write on for now and the basic Word starter pack until I can afford the new office set up in a week or two.

The hardest part has been accepting that some of my video clips have gone, I use a site which regularly changes its free loops and sadly some my favourites are no longer available unless I spend more money, I have to say that the site is actually worth spending the membership on if you make lots of videos or book trailers and as my output increases I will certainly be doing so but at the minute other priorities take precedence.  I hope to get a few blogs up this week but my main aim is to have the laptop in full writing mode and get back into Voices, hopefully by next week there will be a Vlog, complete with a new intro and new look, and I will be able to look at setting a new release date in the near future.

Blog Schedule, coming soon…

There are not going to be many changes really more refining the schedule I already use, although some aspects of it are obviously still on hold until I get my new laptop delivered…

MONDAY MUSINGS – this well continue in its current format of book reviews, author interviews etc.

TELLYBOX TUESDAYS – Udolpho has gone straight out of the window, try as I might I just cannot get through the book, so Iinstead I decided Tuesdays would be a great day to chat about what I am loving and hating on TV.  This does not mean reviews of in depth episodes but rather an overview of what I have been watching and the things it hss made me ponder.  For example this week I just watched a programme I had recorded on my Tivo box about Cleopatra and the romantised hollywood queen vs the ruthless power hungry monarch. Now personally nothing they said about her shocked me but I did wonder if this was a cultural thing.  The programme was made by an American channel and I wondered if it is because here in the UK we grow up being taught about the way our own monarchs frequently gained power via bloodhshed we are more accepting that murdering your siblings is a normal method of succession. This is the sort of thing I will be chatting about here.

WIP WEDNESDAYS – pretty self explanatory,  this is the day where I will discuss the weeks writing progress.

THROWBACK THURSDAYS – I have lots of old pictures to share with you and as you seem to enjoy seeing them, well why not.

VLOG TIME – this is one that will have to wait as I have no video editing software on the tablet and I really dont think it would work well but fingers crossed you will be back to watching me waffle on soon.

SO IT’S SATURDAY – the first thing I want to do is finish off the Lizzie Bennett Diaries, there are only a few more to do so I would like to get them finished.  After that I am going to change it up a little by using this post to discuss things that I have had on my mind.  This obviously means it could be a wide range of subjects that get covered but I promise it will not be just rant posts , for example I know there will be posts about motivating yourself, self image and self belief.  Hopefully there will be a little of everything for everyone during the week that just leaves….

SUNDAY STORIES – this will be where I mix it up with fiction created for you guys, now I may reworkmit at a later date for other purposes but as it is published here it will be new fiction written for sharing with you.  Some will be single stand alone stories others will be serials which may run over two or three weeks, some will be fanfiction (I know you loved my Who fanfic) others will be from the deepest reccesses of my psyche but try not to be too afraid lol.

Anyway I hope this sounds good to you guys let me know in comments what you think!

New Year, New Me, Resolutions & Focus

I know most people have already set their stall out for the coming year but given my illness I am sure you will forgive my tardiness. I had already written them out in my journal but I thought I would share them with you also.

 1) Eat healthier – no going on a diet but to watch portion size, try to make sure I get my five a day and to make healthier choices where I can. I also bought a smoothy maker in an attempt to help with this one.

2) Exercise more – I want to try to exercise at least 4 times a week, starting with 10-15mins and building up to at least one hour session and the others at 30mins. Before I have tried for too much to soon ended up in pain then quit.

3) Write everyday – I intend to spend at least 30mins of every day writing, be it on here or in my journal. Most days will of course involve a lot longer and working on my books or other pieces but even on the busiest of days I need to make that small amount of time count.

4) Daily WIP Progress – although I mention above actually writing every day by this I mean that on days I do not have time to sit and actually write on one of my WIPs then I will still find a way to contribute to it either by having a read through, printing a page off to edit or to make extra notes relating to whatever project I am working on.  Writing is so much more than just getting a story on paper.

5) Improve my skin care regime – more of a personal one but time is not on the side of my skin and it does react to weather conditions so especially if I want to feel more comfortable filming vlogs I have  to invest a few  minutes each morning and bedtime.

6 ) Publish VATV – to be fair this would be done already had the computer not died but now it will be a case of hoping that my drpobox had updated properly but I know I do have 9 stories fully edited on hard copy that can be typed back up and the other stories will be saved in some form, I will set a new released date as soon as I have the new computer in my posession and set up.

7) Publish Queen of Ages – another project which stalled, but as soon as Voices is out I intend to start another edit run on the first  part of my trilogy and get stuck into to writing the second part which I also intend to be out before the end of thd year.  Had technical issues not meant the delay to Voices I would have gone for all three within the year.

8) Catch up on my emails – that should be catch up and keep up, as many of you have been aware I have made a good start on this one while tryinb to recover from flu but if you have not had a flood of extra likes on posts from last year it does not mean I have not read and enjoyed them but I did read some in my email inbox and others the like button just would not work on this silly touch screen tablet.

9) Use scheduling better – I normally prepare blog posts and a number of Facebook posts in advance then schedule them to go live at certain times,  I want to work on being more consistent at this however I confess I am finding it hard to do on the tablet so that may have to wait for the computer as well.

10) Put myself first more – I have discussed this in part previously but there is more to it which I will go into at a later date more. So often we are too worried to say no, too afraid of hurting others feelings but the fact is you can only be treated like a doormat if you lie down for people to walk over.

11) Get out and about more – finances dictate that I cannot go off on crazy adventures evrry weekend but I want to make sure I fit in 4 away day and see at least two shows at the theatre this year.

12) Have faith in my writing – I am determined as well as the larger projects to create one extra short story a month and to submit it to market.

As you can see quite general aims that will help me steer my life and writing in the  direction I want it to go.

 

New Years Blight

You will remember last post has positive I was, how I had borrowed my daughters tablet so I could at least blog again, then I feel silent once more.

The truth is I have succumbed to that most evil of viruses, yup the flu got me.  I am currently curled up on my sofa with the fire on and a quilt wrapped round me but at least today I can focus enough to write this short post.  The news on the laptop seems to be they will have to replace it, that will be a headache getting the software I need back but hey ho I keep looking for the light at the end of the tunnel.

I am faced with a choice on here between deleting pictures or buying more space so do not expect many viual posts until I take care of that, I intend to start blogging properly from Monday and thought the schedule will take a couple of weeks to get flowing again I do feel good about it.

While laying on the sofa I have been reading some old blog post’s via my emails, sadly it has meant some have been read out of order like Shaven Wookie’s fantastic Terra series but I am glad I still had them there, especially as the brain could not focus for anytjing longer than a blog post in one go so even reading a book was out of the question (frustrating as I got one for crimbo I can’t wait to start.)

Right nap time see you all for a fresh start on Monday xxxx

Barsetshire Diary Reviews.

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I am determined not too buy more books than I read this year but I do want to read these, I am always bowled over with David’s charm and wit, you will be too.

Originally posted on barsetshirediaries:

I admit I’m not very good at the promotion of my books also at checking reviews. Today I was reminded that a review of my first book is on most of the Amazon sites and in an effort to promote it I add a link to not just the review in question but to all of them. Like many authors I tended to think that once the book was written, my responsibility is over. Not so, they’re like little babies that need nurturing and like proud parents we’re expected to delve into our pockets for photographs to show at any opportunity.

My Barsetshire Diary is a gentle romp through the vagaries of life in a small village where one might be asked to officiate at the jam making competition at the local village fete. It may just be the place where one competitor is determined to win whatever the cost…

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