Sunday, 29 June 2014

1stJuly - Camp NaNo

I forgot to mention my countdown to 1st July Camp Nano has started! I'll try and find a widget thing for my blog.

Shout if you're joining or search for me ODW11.

Follow up: less than four hours till Camp NaNo kicks off at midnight. I am contemplating a short snooze so I can be at my desk from the off at 00:00.

Saturday, 28 June 2014

Momentum, Mad Hatters and proms

Morning folks, I'm awake far earlier than I'd wish to be, but hey! I've had another busy week due to the day job. Do I ever have a quiet week?

Following my mini retreat to Worcester I started the week on a 'high'  regards my writing. The plan was to continue the momentum through the week, though that plan didn't quite work out, nearly but not quite. It does seem the strangest concept, but seriously removing yourself from your daily life to focus on your writing works every time. I'm sure it is the psychology of the situation that helps to focus my mind.

Wednesday evening I attended the Mad Hatters writing group which meets every two weeks but the attendance has dropped since last December and each meeting is being effected. So, with sadness we decided to change the meetings to once a month hopefully everyone will be able to attend fewer meeting but hopefully each meeting will be vibrant.

Thursday night was an evening of celebration with the day job. Year 11 prom was held to celebrate the achievements of the young folk who had recently left school. I had a wail of a time on the dance floor - it was a pleasure to attend and say goodbye, for now, to the youngsters.

And so, to today...I'm awake with the lark so I'll crack on with exam marking - I have a shed load to complete. Tomorrow will be dedicated to my writing... Bliss!

Hope you have a good one whatever you're doing x

Saturday, 21 June 2014

Worcester Lit Festival, Fownes hotel and... football

Evening folks, you find me in a state of delight having had a fabulous day. Firstly, I attended Worcester Literary Festival meeting up with RNA members: Morton Gray, Janice G Preston and Ellie Swoop - who are simply the best gals! Secondly, I attended the author panel consisting of Christine Courtenay, Liz Harris and Sue Moorcroft led by Alison May - what a delight to hear such experienced authors discuss their careers, reviews and writing process. After the Q&A panel the ladies sat and chatted which was such a lovely touch - RNA bods are truly the nicest people! This world would be a better place if the RNA folks made the rules.

Having filled my boots with lovely RNA babes, I left to be thoroughly spoilt in the Fownes hotel - a hotel with a central location but truly a gem. I have spent the last four hours receiving excellent service, beautiful food (the mussels are to die for), attentive staff who are a delight to speak to, in the most pleasant and relaxed atmosphere. What more could a girl want on a Saturday? Nothing!

So, the only shadow, on what has been a top class weekend is.... the football. England are coming home, Lord knows where you've been hiding if that is news. But hey ho, wherever there is sunshine some shadow must fall.

Enjoy the sunshine, I'll chat next week x

Thursday, 19 June 2014

Meet my main character

'Meet my Main Character’ Blog Hop

Morton Gray has tagged me to contribute to the ‘Meet my main character’ blog hop. Morton is currently editing her novel Rosie and Tanner and hopes to see the novel in print one day. I thank her for the opportunity to introduce my main character, Maggie Monroe.  
What is the name of the main character? Is she real or fictitious?
Maggie Monroe, fictitious to you but very real in my head – I’ve lived with her for about two years.
When and where is the story set?
Her life is based in Pooley, a fictionalised village in Warwickshire, she’s an A&E nurse at St. Bede’s hospital, who lives alone apart from her pet cat, Archie.
What should we know about her?
For the last eight months, Maggie has been struggling to come to terms with the death of her fiancĂ© Guy, in a tragic car accident. Having dated for seven years they’d planned their future together. Now Maggie is alone, wanting no one but her Guy.
What is the main conflict? What messes up her life?
Maggie’s conflict arrives in the form of Asa, an upbeat artist, who wants to get to know her better. He’s prepared to be knocked back, prepared to take it slow, prepared to be friends  - prepared for anything but not to watch a beautiful woman waste away.
What is Maggie’s goal?
Maggie wants to dedicate her life to loving and remembering Guy, forsaking all others. Asa’s goal is to re-waken her thirst for life, leading to love.
A tiny snippet about Maggie but I’m hoping it gives you a taste of my novel. I have tagged two writers: Helen Phifer, my dear writing buddy who has motivated me so much over the past year, her blog can be found at helenphifer. My other author is Anne Harvey, whose blog can be found at thewritespotannelharvey.blogspot
Watch out for their posts next week. I’m looking forward to reading all about their main characters.

Saturday, 14 June 2014

Main characters, liberation and Festival of Romance

Morning folks, I'm wide awake early on a Saturday morning when my body and mind could really do with a lie in. Long gone are the days of teenage sleep when you rise and half the day has flown.

 I've had an strange but liberating week. Firstly, I shared my writing with two close colleagues at work. That might not sound much to others but I rarely mix my day job with my writing world based on past experiences. This is my sixth year in this particular school and I've hidden my novel writing to avoid the added stress and pressure of constant questions about 'are you published yet?' But Monday, I took the bull by the horns and let them into my world - thankfully both were delighted and a tad shocked. For me it was a huge mile stone, it felt liberating to relax rather than retain my nightly musings. I can hear you asking 'when are you telling the rest of the day job?' Hmmmmm, when I have a publishing deal.

This week I've been tagged by Morton Gray in the 'Introduce your main character' blog game, so please check out her blog at and meet Tanner Bryant, from her W-I-P 'Rosie and Tanner'. Next Friday I'll be adding my contribution to the tour and you'll be able to read about my main character 'Maggie Ingram'. I know, a snippet from my current work-in-progress, I never give you that, do I?

And finally, just a small nudge incase you've forgotten to purchase your Festival of Romance tickets for 12th and 13th September in Leighton Buzzard.

So, I'll love and leave you to crack on with the writing - enjoy x

Saturday, 7 June 2014

Freedom and my summer reads

It's official, I'm free from any study work to focus on my writing. Boy, does that feel good! My first task, was to consume a bottle of champers with hubby, the second task - clean my desk for this brand new chapter in my writing career.

My aim: a published novel.

The excitement is such that I couldn't sleep past 5:17am, so I'm up at this ungodly hour on a Saturday!

My second pledge is to catch up on my reading - my time has been consumed by academic literature. I've made a start with Jo Thomas' 'The Oyster Catcher' and have a fabulous 'To-read' pile for the summer, here are my next five:

Alison May - Much about sweet nothing Sweet-Nothing
Louise Markey - Nemesis Louise-Marley-Book-Bundle
Talli Roland - No Kids Club No-Kids-Club
Trisha Ashley - Every woman for herself Every-Woman-Herself
Rebecca Chance - Bad Girls Bad-Girls

So, wishing you all a fab weekend - let the magic begin x

Thursday, 5 June 2014

OFSTED and exam day - yay!

Morning! I started the week knowing that I had to remain focused on today, Thursday for the big exam. Sunday evening I listed my plan for the final few revision sessions and was happy and content.
Monday morning everything changed with a phone call from school inspectors OFSTED. They were coming in on Tuesday and Wednesday - now, all schools folks will know how stressful it is. Non-school staff might not appreciate the admin, paperwork and sheer energy that is needed for those two days. Their questions, their data requests, their eagle eye, their efficiency at inspecting every aspect of school life.  My exam revision plan went out the window. Instead, Monday night having worked all day, I worked until two in the morning collating my data and lesson plans, went into work Tuesday on three hours sleep, taught all day and then repeated the process ready for Wednesday! OMG, I am spent! I haven't had a moment to even look at my revision cards.

So, Tuesday and Wednesday are over, Thursday (exam day) has dawned - I'll spend the next few hours cramming and doing revision before the 2:30pm start. Not the situation I'd envisaged but hey, my saving grace will be the hours I revised during my holiday.

Wish me luck folks, it's been a tough few days x

Follow up: yay, the exam went well! I am so pleased that the questions were to my liking and I was able to answer four as needed. Thank you to my beauties for supporting me, special thanks to my buddy Helen Phifer - you've lightened the load the last couple of days x