Lazy Sunday

My Year So Far!

I should have started recording episodes for the podcast by now but I am still trying to get my microphone set up again so I thought I would share a few photos from the last week and a half since the start of 2021.

This is the cover to this years journal, the last year I had a rose gold glittery one and given how the year went I decided on this one this year that is a little plainer with a classic feel to the floral enhancement. Let’s hope this year I get to write about a couple of signings.

This has been my life for most of this year so far, either mud or the ground is frozen and every hoof print filled with ice.

Sunday the 3rd we brought Preeya out of the field for the first time, she handled it really well, she is almost as big as mummy now can’t believe she is only nine months old.

Monday I headed to my daughters, I thought I would share these with you so you understand why I usually take photos with my head to one side, if you look at the first photo you can see I have a fat and thin side to my face. Other people can tell you it doesn’t look as bad as you think it looks but one you have it in your head no one will tell you otherwise.

Tuesday saw me back at work, we have these t-shirts, we play messages over the tannoy but guess what people are still not staying back, I get not everyone believes there is a virus, I am not getting into that but even if you don’t believe does it really hurt you to keep your distance from people, I want my life back, I want to see my family and friends, that can only happen if people apply common sense.

Wednesday morning just who ended up sat in the mud while dragging straw down the field to where the horses stand to have their hay. Maybe I should buy waders rather than wellies!!

Thursday morning I was debating what I could share and I thought I would show you the odd random item from my house that I love, this is my dream catcher that hangs above my bed. I normally remember my dream and it is very rare I have a bad one, I have had this for years but lately it is beginning to lose the odd feather.

Coming home from work Friday night it started snowing but it is hard to catch the snow on your mobile camera lol,

I was thankful to have my hat with me though as it was cold.

Saturday we had snow but not enough to really slow the pace of life, helped my friend take two of her horses out for their feet trimming and for a quick walk round the block as the roads were clear.

Saturday night lockdown style and the only affection I was getting was a nose rub from the cat. 

Hope you all are staying safe and making the most of each day in any way you can. 

6. Saturday · So it's Saturday

Weekly Round Up -Saturday 2nd January 2021

Podcasts

I have let my back catalogue of podcasts build up lately, and especially in December, apart from listening to one or two that you have heard about before I had been letting others slide but this week I began listening to some I am way behind on starting with Court Junkie. As you know if you have read these before I love true crime and this one looks at the on going court cases and their back stories. You can listen for yourself here.

Music

I have been listening to more music and especially the latest Kylie album Disco, I am also working on the Spotify playlist for the book I am working on, so far it is a mix of 80’s pop and dance music but am sure there will be some more steamy tunes getting added as the book progresses.

This Kylie tune is on there and is also my ring tone…

Reading

I have been reading lots of dark romances and fluffy love stories the last few months, billionaires, mafia bosses, and gangsters, lots however, have also had strong female characters. I would like to palm this off as research but the truth is I have wanted quick easy reads that don’t require too much thought, but I have also been listening to the new Robert Bryndza series on audio book, I finished book one and loved it and am two thirds of the way through the second, I do need to go back and finish the first police series he wrote too. you can find the new series here on Amazon in all formats and I will be reviewing it.

Watching – TV

I haven’t watched much normal TV over the festive period this year but the one thing I know you are expecting me to post about is Doctor Who however, that is sat on TV waiting to be watched this evening, the only other programme on a normal channel I have been watching is All Elite Wresting, I have always said that Pro Wrestling shows are the best soaps around, this week sadly they have been mourning the passing of one of their stars so this clip is a week older.

Watching – Film

As I mentioned with books I have been reading lots of romance and the same goes for films, I have been watching lots of Rom Coms that do not require a lot of concentration my favourite of these was The Holiday with Jude Law, Kate Winslet and Cameron Diaz, the idea of a house swap is both appealing and terrifying, I would love to stay in someone else’s house but hate them being in mine going through my stuff and judging me lol. I know a lot of people will have seen this film years ago but just in case here is the trailer…

 

Watching – Netflix

The Netflix pic for this week is a festive Rom Com, it is of of the multitude of festive films I have watched but this made me laugh the most…

 

Don’t forget to leave your recommendations for what to watch or listen to in the comments below.

Resolutions 2021

2021 At last! Thank Goodness 2020 is done.

A new year means a new start, and of course, resolutions about making the new year better than the previous, and I am no different. Last year I allowed events in both my personal life and the world in general distract me and wear me down until I lost my writing mojo. I made an attempt to rally however, I failed there after a couple of good weeks it all went back downhill, but I took a different approach and decided to prepare to make 2021 my best year yet. So here we go with this years writing resolutions…

  1.  I will blog at least five times a week. I previously had quite a good following on here and plenty of interactions, I will work on regaining that audience and rewarding those who have stood by me for whom I have the greatest respect and affection.
  2.  I will publish a minimum of four books this year, I have a couple already well under way and want to get the rest of the Queen Of Ages Trilogy published so I can move on to the two other series that I have floating around in my head.
  3. I will make sure all pries are posted out within two weeks of them being won unless I am waiting for a postal address.
  4. I will get the podcast back up and running and be consistent at that, I will also arrange for interviews with author friends as part of that.
  5. I will get the Raven’s Rest Press website set up to allow readers to order print copies of my books, which can be signed and shipped to them if they cannot attend signings.
  6. Once the trilogy is finished I will look at creating the special hard back trilogy version.

So just half a dozen resolutions to get by backside back on track, let me know in comments, do you make resolutions? If so, what are they?

Happy New Year to all and remember…

Fact Vs Fiction

NanoWrimo 2020- Time To Begin…

It is half past seven, on Sunday morning the 1st of November and I am about to start my Nano campaign for this year, now to be honest every time start this something happens, but this year everything has happened already.

I have actually planned ahead, I have two projects I intend to get finished during Nano. one only needs a couple of thousand words, the other is a project I am really excited about though I have set myself really strict timelines.

I had picked the start of November for a mental reboot, I have bought myself a nice new productivity planner, bought some Slimfast to replace the toast dripping in best butter that I had been having since my back went. The first couple of weeks after my sciatic nerve went with a ping I lost weight, to be fair I was barely conscious and drugged up on morphine, then of course being unable to move tends to lend to self pity and also eating a lot of crap, especially when you have no appetite but have to eat to take the painkillers to get you moving again.

I know a lot of people wait for new year to make a fresh start but this is more getting back into habits that I have settled into on and off the last year, now is the time to pull it all together and get some books out.

I will update you on my progress twice a week on Wednesdays and Sundays, Wednesdays I will talk about the projects themselves and Sunday will be more about the numbers. Right I need to go, I have the family coming for Sunday Dinner before we go back into lockdown as I need some furniture moving, and I need to get some words down first!

Thoughts on thursday

Thoughts On Thursday! 29th October 2020

I am going to try to get back to doing some of these extended question of the days because some answers just don’t fit in a tweet!

You are stuck on an island with no way off and no one knows you are there, what three items do you have with you?

This one is hard because if we are talking a realistic answer of what items am I most likely to have in my bag it would be my phone, my kindle and my make up bag or my Filofax depending what I am doing, or possibly my reading glasses if I remembered to put them in the bag. The reality is none of these make an interesting answer because the batteries would die so quickly they would be of no practical use other than the glasses which I can use to start fires, but as I wear normal glasses too now they are not of any special use.

So let’s try the you can have anything…

The first thing I would want is a solar power generator (because this is a hot island, if not get me off it now), I will need power for the next two items so I will need to be able to keep them charged up.

The second item is my kindle, I have enough books on there to keep me in books for years, the generator can be used to charge it back up It might be a good idea now, as I write this, to download a few survival manuals, but on the positive side my dad did teach me a few bits of DIY and I have watched a few survival shows so I am pretty sure I can make a passable shelter unless there is really extreme weather.

The third item is my computer, now obviously, I have no internet, but I can still write (I would need my wired mouse and keyboard, not the wireless ones to go with it, but that all counts as one right?) The advantage to my computer over than pen and paper is that there is no limit to how many books I can write and I can have them all edited ready for publishing if I ever get rescued from this island. The second advantage is I have Sims 4 on the computer so I have a game I can play on and if I feel lonely I can create myself some friends o a family.

Of course, the really sensible answers would be a tent, a first aid kit, and a swiss army pen knife but hell, who wants to be sensible. drop your three items in the comments

My Books

Torture Charity Anthology

 

Time is running out to grab your copy, this book is only available until the end of this month after that it is gone forever, although you may be able to get continued versions of some stories, I confess I am undecided at this point what to do about mine, but it will definitely be the last time you will be able to get all the stories in their original format together,

And if you need another reason to stick your hand in your pocket and buy then remember it is raising money for #AutismUK, as you all know my son is autistic and even though he is high functioning the last six months have been hard. I am lucky that I can manage his issues and we have coping strategies in place, I managed to get help when it was needed but for many others this charity is a lifeline, and we all know that in times where everyone is struggling charities are hit hard as no one has that spare cash to donate.

So don’t just donate, but a book, get it on kindle, read it on Kindle Unlimited and you get a great read and somewhere out there a family gets a helping hand.

mybook.to/Torture

6. Saturday · So it's Saturday

Saturday Weekly Round-Up – 24th October 2020

A fortnight has passed but I have been busy writing, so let’s see what I have been up to this week…

Podcasts

This week I was really excite by a new podcast! The Minister Of Chance which I invested in as a Kickstarter Audio drama is back digitally remastered as a podcast, the Prologue dropped this week so sign up wherever you get your podcasts or check out this link for more info or follow Dan Freeman on Twitter to keep up with the latest news.

Music

This week I have listened to a little music and have to confess it was an 80’s playlist Spotify put together For me, I have to confess a few of those may have made there way into the playlist for the new book I am writing, mainly happy pop songs at the minute, it is interesting when it is a list someone else puts together how you find yourself listening to songs you had forgotten existed until they are in front of you so here is one…

I find it shocking now to think I could keep up dancing like that all night long lol. If you are on Spotify and want to check out my playlist at the minute it is listed as Christmas love story..

Reading

I have read a couple of books in the past two weeks I wont say too much about them now as I will be reviewing them but I have read the Filthy Trilogy by Lisa Renee Jones,, well the first two parts as I am about to read the third, I have also read Behind Closed Doors By Karen Mossman, one of these resulted in the use of several tissues, guess which one.

Watching – TV

I have actually finally decided to give Great British Bake Off on Channel 4, I watched it religiously what it was on BBC and was not really happy to see it sold off, however, one should not hold grudges and I do like Matt Lucas and Noel Fielding, and have to say four weeks in and I have really enjoyed it so far. And we managed to get through pastry week without a soggy bottom in sight!

Watching – Film

This is an old film, in fact it was an old favourite, however, watching it this time round I am struck that we have a love story that should have actually been a taboo, as it starts with both main characters cheating on their other halves. I know that some people will arguing that if there is nothing physical happening then it’s not cheating but I would argue if you are sneaking around behind your partners back, talking to people you wouldn’t talk to in front of them then you are cheating. I play on computer games and chat to a few people all over the world but there is not a single message that has ever been sent I have needed to hide from my boyfriend, in fact I have shown him quite a few. The thing is this carries on for quite a long way into the film, it’s not as if they just started talking and realised how bad their relationships are. Overall, it is quite a negative film, the big bad megastore does drive the little independent shop out of business, and he never really shows any actual remorse for destroying her business. There were some moments of nostalgia with the dial up modem, the clothes, and the fact you could exist without being connected to social media or be accessible 24/7.  I decided to go with this instead of the tradional trailer as it is closer to my feelings on this film now.

Watching – Netflix

I haven’t really watched Netflix in the last couple of weeks because it won’t work properly via the TV and I am trying to get some writing done on the computer but there are a couple of things coming up I am interested to watch so watch this space…

And that is it for this week, see you all back here next week.

4. Thursday · Highs and Lows · The Learning Curve · Thoughts on thursday

Thoughts on Thursday – So You Want To Be A Writer Part Two

If you missed out on the first part of this new series you can catch it here. I know this should have gone out yesterday but technical problems left me frustrated and on the verge of throwing the computer through the window yesterday lol.

So, you finally have an idea for a story, you sit at the computer and begin writing so far so good but then you find the next thing that people say to you.

Well, anyone can write a book, it’s just words.

Now, to an extent this is true. anyone can write a book but let’s look at what actually goes into writing a book that people really don’t understand. First the time! I don’t know about most of you reading this but my WPM (words per minute) have dropped significantly since I learnt to type at school. On a good day, I can type 250 words every fifteen minutes, that means 1000 words per hour assuming the ideas are flowing and I don’t need to stop to think or consult notes. The average fantasy book is 95,000 – 120,000 words this means to write one book you are looking at 95 – 100 hours. Now, there will be people who will look at that and say, well that’s okay you can write a book a month, and yes if you are lucky enough to be able to stay home and make a living writing you might, but most of us still have day jobs to accommodate to fund our writing. Personally, I am lucky to write 5 – 10 k words per week, that means if nothing else happens to slow me down or distract me that the first draft will take three to four months.

It’s only writing down words in sentences, it can’t be that hard!

Yes, I have actually had that said to me, and to an extent it is true, or should that be it is true for the first draft. What a lot of people fail to realise is just how many different edits you do on books, you don’t just write the perfect book, hit send and it is out there in the world. Generally, I edit a book around four times more in some places if it needs it, there are read throughs checking for continuity, and any holes in the plot, there are general grammar and spelling checks. I also use an automated voice reader programme to let me hear it back with helps me pick on things spell check misses, those silly errors where you type on instead of no.

If you are lucky you can afford to pay proofreaders to pick up on some issues, pay editors to fix them, oh, and remember to check what your editor offers, because you may need to hire more than one. If one only does general edits then you need a second to do line edits.  Now, if like me you don’t make enough to pay for all these things, then there is help out there. I use the free version of Grammarly to pick up on some of my mistakes but be advised that it often wants to change things that you want to write for creative effect. Use the word checker on your computer and check the settings to see what you can turn on to help you.

All these edits take time so the chances are if you are doing it all yourself you will be doing well to get out one or two books a year, if you have editors you can maybe get a couple more out, but just words, I don’t think so.

Next week we will look at what happens once, you have a story more or less ready to go.