Saturday, 21 November 2015

Love Stories Awards - 'New Talent Award 2015'

It has finally happened, the dreamlike state that arrives when someone calls your name. The stomach swirl, the trembling lip and yes, tears of joy arrived last Wednesday evening. For me, it was the beautiful Emily Yau announcing the winner of the 'New Talent Award 2015' at the Love Stories Awards. And I'm delighted to say, I've been perched on cloud nine ever since - I have no plans to return to planet Earth!

For those not present at the awards near Piccadilly Circus, this 'soppy head' did indeed begin to cry, afterwards many authors mentioned how touching it was to see and remember that initial feeling of recognition as an unpublished writer.

I was stunned. I had attended purely to celebrate being one of the shortlisted nine - I hadn't even planned a 'thank you' let alone an acceptance speech! But I stand by my few words 'of thanking those present who have supported me' - you have each given a little bit of yourself, be it interest, time or advice, to aid my writing journey.

Congratulations to Tora Williams, Debbie Fuller-White and Emily Kerr - I was honoured to be amongst such a stunning shortlist! A big 'Thank you' to Sarah Taylor and Kate Nash for organising the Love Stories Award but the biggest 'thank you' goes to my dear RNA friend, Bella Osborne for sharing a very special moment prior to the announcement and drying my tears afterwards.

As I write, my beautiful 'New Talent Award' sits alongside my other treasures - it'll be a constant reminder of happy memories and a boost towards my next goal!

Bella Osborne, moi and Tora Williams at Love Stories Awards

Sunday, 1 November 2015

NaNoWriMo 2015 - let the fun begin!

It has arrived! The beautiful day which I look forward to each year: 1st November. I know it might sound sad to many writers but seriously NaNo is one of the first dates I circle in any new diary. You may have clicked by now, I simply love NaNo!

Last night, I did my usual trick for Halloween and took myself off to bed at nine o'clock - pretty early for a grown adult on a Saturday night but necessary for a NaNo starter. My alarm rang at 23:30 and up I jumped. Seriously, hubby laughs his socks off each year at my enthusiasm to sit alone in my writing room waiting for midnight. But joking aside, it's what I do. I call up websites to ensure I have the precise time, I get my word document loaded and then sit waiting with that first post-it note, on which I've planned my opening chapter. In my head, I wait alongside thousands of others all eager to let the words flow. On the chime of midnight, we're off.

I'd promised myself I'd write for an hour, like last year, but the words just kept coming! I eventually came out of the 'zone' at 3:30am... with 3520 words under my belt! OMG where did they appear from? It was as if the word fairy had flown in through the window and sneakily popped them down.
Anyway, by 4am I returned to the land of Nod.

Roll on this morning and bling the words just flowed for a second session - long may this continue. Though from past experience I know it won't. I know that in next thirty days there will be unforeseen crisis, sheer tiredness and a muse that'll go AWOL when needed. I know there are parties and events booked into the calendar which I'll need to work around plus, the day-job to juggle. Putting all the obstacles aside, I also know that there's an unlimited amount of excitement, enthusiasm and writing delight awaiting the next thirty days. Where my writing buddies will encourage and support my crazy ass tweets at ridiculous o'clock when I've reached another mile stone. Where my husband will smile at my antics and the dog will scowl from the chair having to wait for his walk.

One additional feature to NaNo 2015 is my volunteering to support a newbie during the month to ensure they have the best chance of completing. There were so many years I dreamed of completing NaNo and one failed attempt before Helen Phifer held my hand throughout NaNo 2012 ensuring success. In turn, I've offered to do the same for other newbies so they can experience the sheer thrill and madness of completing NaNoWriMo 2015.

I don't apologise if this isn't your thing, because it wouldn't do for us all to be exited about the same thing. But in recent years both of my completed novels started on 1st November as NaNo drafts - now, why would I look a gift horse in the mouth when it's a golden opportunity to let my imagination fly and result in a draft one.

To join the madness check out the link:NaNoWriMo 2015