Monday, 31 March 2014

Deadline 31 March - yay!

Hi folks, I've been quiet, haven't I? I am literally on the last few hours of polishing my RNA NWS manuscript ready to post tomorrow. Just as I vowed. Has it been easy? Hell no! I literally haven 't done anything else other than writing work in order to meet this deadline. My back is hurting, I'm tired and to be honest exhausted by the routine I've stuck too. But I've managed it. Phew!

Now what? Well after tomorrow, which by the way is my birthday, I shall have a few days off before I begin to plan the next idea that is queuing in my head. Crazy aren 't we? Yep. But while I am enjoying myself musing my RNA NWS manuscript will be winging its way to a reader, who in time will produce a feedback report just for me. I can't wait.

So, bye bye for now, I'll be back tomorrow - albeit a year older... and wiser.

Saturday, 22 March 2014

De-stressed, happy and writing

Morning folks, how the devil are you? Me? I'm on cloud nine. I've had a corker of a week: day job was great, writing week was fab, saxophone playing was surprising and writing group was expressive. What more could a gal ask for? In addition, to all this fabulous positiveness (is that even a word!) my house sale was completed yesterday so my 'plate' is currently lighter as I've off loaded one huge item. Good week, hey?

Wednesday night, I attended my writing meeting Mad Hatters, were I actually read. I've given up trying to take novel chapters in for feedback because remarks on a work-in-progress isn't healthy for my creativity. I learnt that with my first novel 'Her' - so vowed never to do it again. The group is flagging, almost dying to be fair, so to give a boost to Janis, who regularly brings work, I took in a flash fiction piece. They loved it, bless 'em. It made such a difference to the discussion, and thankfully a third person Gina, had bought a poem so we ended up having a lovely evening.

Tonight, I'm attending a friend's AmDram performance of 'Shakers' in Nuneaton, Warwickshire - which will be a great giggle as the play contains lots of saucy humour.

So, the plan Stan: I have just 10 days remaining before my deadline looms. I have much polishing to do before this draft is ready, but it will be done. I have two entire days this weekend to dedicate and write. So, it's BOSFOK for me, for the majority of the weekend, give or take a Costa break.

Catch you later x

Sunday, 16 March 2014

Mother of all weeks

Morning folks, I'm back. I've been very quiet all week due to lack of time, and very little humour. Seriously, I've arrived home late, written like a robot and slept very badly. Plus, finalized the contract for a house sale - so solicitors and estate agents dealings squeezed into every free gap. My creativity and humour have been squeezed as a result.

But, what have I learnt? That I have an endless supply of stamina, a fabulous hubby who orders me to write when I look like slacking on my 1700 word challenge and that 4am is a beautiful time of day!

Amidst all the work/writing I still attended my writers' meeting even though my sleep deprived body wished to cancel.

Finally, my week closed on Saturday, I spent the day at uni studying Madame Bovary, The Woman in white and A Portrait of a Lady - and plenty of student chat. Quite an achievement!

And so, to this week. I'll continue my MaNoWriMo challenge (just two weeks to go), attend my writers' meeting on Wednesday and.... my new saxophone arrives. Woohoo!

Catch you later x

Saturday, 8 March 2014

MaNoWriMo, carrot cake and nerdiness

Morning folks, you find me pondering the plot of a short story for my Thursday's Grace Dieu meeting. An in-house exercise that we set every second month, and one which usually stretches our talents beyond our comfort zones. Anyway, I had a flash of inspiration late last night and have woken with a gem of an idea. Funny how the mind works overtime whilst I sleep, if only it could encourage the ironing fairy to visit in the same manner!

My MaNoWriMo challenge is continuing nicely - I've managed a minimum of 1700 each day, though Wednesday was tough as I didn't sit at my desk until 10:45pm!!! Shocker of a busy day: day job, parents' evening and then Mad Hatters' writing group... and finally home, to write! Anyway, you'll have seen my word count rise from 44,000 into the 60,000 over the past week, which motivates me no end. If you read my blog tour entry, you'll appreciate my nerdiness regards word counts. Is nerdiness even a word? Oh well, it is now!

Plans for today, I've had a great start by consuming carrot cake for breakfast - it seemed a good idea at the time, but now I want more (which isn't good news). I have kept the day free to hibernate in my writing room and write. Simple.

Please check out Morton Gray's contribution to the blog tour 'My Writing Process' which will appear on Monday morning at

I'll catch you later x

Follow up: I had a fabulous day yesterday. I managed to writer 3274 words on my RNA NWS submission and... I bought a saxophone inbetween writing sessions! I already play the flute and violin  so I'm hoping the transition onto a sax is pretty smooth. Creative in all areas which I believe helps to stimulate my writing.

Sunday, 2 March 2014

My Writing Process - blog tour

Bella Osborne invited me to contribute to this blog tour where writers share their process. Bella is a member of the RNA’s new writer’s scheme, a project manager and a Mummy (not the Egyptian variety) who is currently writing her second novel whilst she has her fingers crossed that someone would like to publish the first one. She blogs at and can usually be found on Twitter, @osborne_bella

What am I working on?

I’m busy working on my submission for the Romantic Novelists’ Associations’ New Writers Scheme, a contemporary romance with a hint of comedy. It’s my third novel and I’m determined to complete by 31st March, clearing the decks for my birthday on 1st April.  My goal is to submit by the end of March, then on receiving the reader’s feedback I’ll address any weaknesses. Come May, I’d like to be submitting the novel to agents and publishers – so fingers crossed, but hey, you know what they say about the best laid plans of mice and men!

How does my work differ from others of its genre?

No disrespect to other writers, but I think the difference is the honesty and worldly experience of the author. Like a potter with clay, I tend to use experiences, emotions and knowledge from my own life to shape and mould the raw material enabling me to write from the heart. I don’t ever write about anything that I haven’t lived or can’t research/experience in-depth. As a result my romance novels address darker emotional issues with a healthy dollop of laughter – much like life.

Why do I write what I do?

I love the inner strength of people – that ability to cope in circumstances that we never thought we’d encounter and yet somehow, we survive. Whether it be the ultimate betrayal and break up, close bereavement or serious illness – the human ability to breathe in and out while enduring the greatest heartache - simply amazes me. I feel my work captures the essence of an emotion present during a difficult situation and that’s why I write what I write. I’m also a sucker for a love story. 

How does your writing process work?

For me, the seeds of an idea usually begin with a character trying to cope with a specific situation. From this point, I can walk around for months with the idea growing and germinating in my mind, as I go about my daily work. Once a few more characters have joined the cast, I sit down and create a detailed scrap book – pictures, names, birthdays, addresses, photographs, diagrams, diary dates that becomes a reference book containing every detail of the new novel. I tend to spend hours with a baby naming book – I love names with meaning and so my characters tend to grow from those pages. I tend to plan certain scenes – so outline these on small index cards and place in order – there is always plenty of scope for the unexpected to occur while I’m writing – which is one particular enjoyment of writing draft one. I’m a goal orientated person, husband calls it ‘nerdy’ but I set up a spreadsheet to record my daily word count, complete with a mini graph. I gain a satisfaction from seeing the trends and trough of my work pattern, it also means I can’t kid myself regards productivity!

Next on the blog tour

Morton Gray is a member of the RNA's New Writers' Scheme and is busy polishing novels to submit for publication. She was shortlisted for the Festival of Romance New Talent Award in 2013. Her blog at is a glorious mixture of things she comes across on her writing journey. To follow Morton via Twitter search for @MSGray53 or on Facebook as Morton Gray.

Day 2 of MaNoWriMo

Morning folks, day two begins bright and early. Hubby is asleep so the house has a peaceful hush - perfect for writing.

I had a wonderful time yesterday choosing 10 poems from the huge selection written by children. Today, from the ten I shall choose the top five - it won't be an easy decision.

So, best foot forward - I'll catch you later x

Follow up: woohoo! I've written 1701 words which are necessary to meet my daily word goal. What a lovely writing session. The words simply flowed like a river, my fingers could hardly keep up with the flood of ideas.

After a gym session, I returned for another writing session taking the count to 2713 words. See you tomorrow folks when Bella Osborne will be handing the blog tour baton to myself to share 'My Writing Process'.

Night x

Saturday, 1 March 2014

Poetry comp, blog tour and MaNoWriMo

Good morning folks.... Let's get straight to the point. Warning: this next month may get messy.
I have 31 days to complete my novel! 31 days in which to rewrite, edit, smile, ponder and yes, possibly weep over my efforts until I wave goodbye at the post office. If I hit desperate, please bring me hot tea, rub my back and whisper 'You can do this' - until I return to my desk.

I've returned to the day job - confirmed by my silence on Tweeter. It has been interesting getting back to normality 5:30am alarm clock and 9pm writing sessions - with a whole list of tasks in between. But hey, that's my life.

I attended my Grace Dieu writers' group on Thursday, a quiet meeting with just five of us but a noisy fun-filled one thanks to a forth coming event 'sex night' where we each have to write a badly written sex scene. I'll let you know nearer the time.

On Monday I shall be posting my contribution to a blog tour called 'My Writing Process' which highlights aspiring writers and their current work-in-progress. This week the spot light is on my good writing buddy Bella Osborne, who I met through the RNA - please take a look at her contribution at

And so to today, I shall be hibernating in my writing room with a steady flow of tea at my left elbow. My first job of the day is to read each entry in a children's poetry competition, the theme is 'childhood memories'. My plan is to wheedle the entries down over the weekend as I need to choose just five.

Between the poetry reading I shall be writing. I have a free weekend so need to make the most of it, let's face it from today until 31st I am participating in my own personal MaNoWriMo (March novel writing month) - so let it commence!

Catch you later x

Follow up: Day one of MaNoWriMo done and dusted 1807 words - yay!