The Sunshine Award


Ooh I’ve won another award!  And so for my acceptance speech…sob,sob, I’d just like to thank everyone…sob,sob.  Oh stop it!  This isn’t the Oscars!  I’m very pleased to have won another award for my blogging.  Considering that I think I don’t blog nearly enough its gratifying to hear that some people out there are obviously liking something I do.  Like many people I struggle with low self-esteem sometimes so its nice to know I’m doing something right!

So firstly thank you to Ayslyn’s Corner for nominating me for this award.

The rules are:

1. Link back to the person who nominated you.  Done that.

2. Answer the ten questions below.

3. Nominate ten fellow bloggers to receive the award.

1. Nominate your favourite philosopher – Don’t really have one.

2. What is your favourite number? – My favourite numbers are 29 and 11.  29 is my birth number; its what you get if you add up all the numbers of my date of birth.

3. What is your favourite animal?  How many hours have you got?  I love almost all animals but especially, dogs, cats, wolves, bears, crows, ravens and badgers.

4. What are your Facebook and Twitter URLs?  Sorry I don’t understand the question!

5. What’s your favourite vacation?  Our honeymoon in Las Vegas.

6. What’s your favourite time of day? Dusk.

7. What’s your favourite physical activity?  Getting jiggy with my husband!

8. What’s your favourite non-alcoholic drink? Earl Grey tea.

9. What’s your favourite flower?  Roses and wisteria.

10.  What’s your passion?  Magic and stories.

And now my ten nominess are:

Congratulations to all of you!




Everybody Else Syndrome

I often suffer from what I call ‘everybody else syndrome’.  What this amounts to is thinking that everybody else is writing every day, everybody else has finished their novels, everybody else’s work is selling.  I’m the only one who sucks, I’m the only one who can’t get her lazy behind into gear, etc. etc.

Its the belief that everybody else in the world is doing fabulously and you’re the only person who isn’t.  I think we’ve all felt like that at times but when you  look at it logically its nonsense.  Everybody struggles with problems.  Its an utter fantasy to imagine you’re the only one who suffers.  And you name a problem and I can guarantee you’re not alone in suffering from it.  You only have to surf the net to see that.

When I was at university I often imagined I was the only one struggling with the work but an hour spent chatting to the other students soon cured me of that idea.  The best way, in my opinion, to rid yourself of ‘everybody else syndrome’ is to talk to other people because it helps to give you back your perspective and realise that as John Donne used to say :No man is an island, Entire of itself.”

This post was inspired by L.S.Engler and as a first(!) I’m including a link to her original post.  I hope I do this right!

ROW80 Check-In 19/08/2012

Well as far as writing goes I’ve had a lot better week.  I did 500 words of Emily Swann today, 500 yesterday, Friday was a bust but I did 500 words on Thursday and 600 words on Wednesday and 600 words on Tuesday.  All together that’s 2,700 words if my mental arithmetic is up to scratch!  Gosh, I’m quite proud of myself!  That’s more than I’ve done in ages!

I must confess I’ve been working on this complicated magic spell/positive thinking/wish fulfillment/cosmic ordering thing and even if it doesn’t bring me the perfect life that I’ve always wanted it has cured my apathy, put me in an almost constant good mood and boosted my energy and resolve no end!

I can’t really say too much about the system I’m using at this present time but I hope to post about it properly at a later date.  It relies on me performing certain rituals for twenty-eight days straight and I’m only on day fourteen so far.  I’ll let you know more when its all finished.

Have got back into my reading again.  Am currently reading The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller and am loving it!  Am only slightly miffed because I was planning to write a book about Achilles myself and now if I do everyone will think I’m a copycat!

Have blogged more often, still not as often as I would like but I’m getting there.  I’m getting back into doing 750 words again as well.  Did that today and yesterday so that’s good.

I hope everyone else is having a good week too!

Let’s talk about Emily Swann

Okay; I admit it.  I hate marketing!  Its just not me!  But in this new world of indie publishing, it has become unavoidable so I’m going to have to try.  Now I don’t want to be one of those irritating people shouting “buy my book, buy my book” at everyone over and over again because nobody wants that, least of all me and I hate it when anyone does that so I know you guys out there would hate it to.

From what I’ve read, and I’ve been reading up on the subject for a while, it seems that one is supposed to establish a rapport with one’s vast(!) following and then gently lead them, through a series of links to buying your book.  Now as I have the technical savvy of a dead ferret, setting up websites and newsletters and all the rest of it seems quite beyond my competence and quite frankly, fills me with terror.

I’ve got as far as registering with Mail Chimp but that’s all.  So I thought if I told you all a bit about the novel I’m writing and some of the characters and a bit of the setting and so on that some of you might become so fascinated by it all that if I have to self-publish you will all rush out and buy it and even if it does get a mainstream publisher, you’ll rush out and buy it just the same.

The novel is set in 1816 in the village of Emsworth in Hampshire, which is just outside Portsmouth.  Emily Swann is a ten year old girl and, due to the death of her father she is an heiress to a vast fortune.  But her uncle, Steven Swann, is a greedy bastard and he wants that money.  He can’t get it unless Emily is dead so he decides to murder her.

But Emily is a very smart girl for her age and she has an added advantage of being psychic.  She knows what her uncle is like and she quickly figures out what he’s up to.  She turns out to be a much more formidable opponent than Steven thought she would be.  Will Steven kill Emily?  Will Emily outwit Steven and survive?  You’ll have to buy the book (when its finished) and find out!

A Visit to the Launderette

Today Gary and I went to the launderette.  Not the most exciting activity I admit but as our washing machine is broken and the new one isn’t coming until next Saturday, it was essential.  While I was at the launderette I thought I’d use the time, of which there was plenty(!), to do some writing.  Here is what I wrote.

“The washing machine chugs and whirrs.  A middle aged lady in a bright pink jumper bends over to shove her laundry in the dryer showing off her pear shaped bum in its black stretch trousers.  Olive skinned young lady is also wearing pink, a short sleeved top with grey jeans rolled at the bottom and turquoise flip-flops.  She wears a pony tail and glasses and looks like a student to me though strictly speaking its the wrong time of year.

There’s a clack-clack from one of the dryers as something metal, probably a zip, keeps hiting the side.  The clock is behind a wire cage; it is hanging off the wall and only the presense of the wire cage stops it from falling.  There is a camera but that’s no surprise.  The only things on the walls are instruction notices telling you stuff like how to operate the machines and what time the lauderette closes.  One of the dryers has a St. Andrew’s cross on the front, done in grey masking tape, making it look like a target.

Huge vents are lined with years of dust.  The beige tiles of the linoleum are flacked with dirt and some sort of pattern, almost indistinguishable from each other.  Strip lighting bleaches everything a yellowish-white.  I’ve just realised I forgot to change the programme number and so I’ve done a cold wash by mistake.  Its actually stopped raining and the sun is trying to come out but the clouds are still battleship-grey and pregnant with yet more rain.

Gary and I take turns to grab an armful of washing and lug it over to the big dryers at the far end.  Naturally a pair of my clean knickers end up on the floor!”

And that’s my launderette piece.  I have tidied it up a tiny bit but mostly, I just left it as it came out.  Enjoy!

ROW80 Check-In 12/08/2012

Not the best of weeks but it could have been worse.


Write every day – I managed two days in the last four.

Read a poem every day – nailed it.

Work on Emily Swann daily – did two days out of four (see above).

Do 750 words a day – did it once and that was today.

Read a chapter of a book (any book) a day – nailed that!

Blog four times a week – did twice a week.

Most goals I’ve done some progress on but the trouble is I haven’t done as much progress as I would like.  At this rate I’ll finish Emily Swann in 2019!  Not good!

ROW80 Check-In 08/08/2012

Well like Arnie in the Terminator, I’m back.  Dropped out of ROW for a bit as you know but I didn’t get on the M.A. course so now I’m dropping back in again.  I have done a bit of work on Emily Swann but not much.  I did about five hundred words yesterday and the day before but didn’t work on it last week except for one day, I forget which one, when I did another five hundred words.

I think I need to set new goals so I’m going to do at least five hundred words of Emily Swann every day and on good days, of which I hope they’ll be many I’m going to try and do one thousand words a day.  I will read at least one chapter of a book every day and one poem.  I will do at least four blog posts a week, of which two will be ROW.  And I will do my best to remember to do the 750 words every day as well.

I did my 750 words for today just after lunch and I’m doing the blog post ROW check-in now so that’s those two out of the way.  Still have five hundred words of Emily Swann to do plus the reading.  I know the reading won’t be a problem because it never is.  When everything else slips I still always manage to read so that’s good.  I am a bit behind on my 50/50 challenge.  To be honest, I’m way behind on the films but I’ve given up on that part but I’m just about five books behind on the reading which isn’t too bad.

I hope everyone else is getting on fabulously and look forward to getting back in to reading and commenting on all the blogs.

Good Times, Bad Times

The title of this post is from a song by my favourite band in the universe, Led Zeppelin.  I was tempted to slot in a You-Tube video of them here but I’m not sure about the copyright laws and I don’t want Jimmy Page suing me because he can afford a lot more expensive lawyers than me.

Anyway, I digress.  This was not a great day for me because I got an e-mail this morning telling me I hadn’t made it on to the M.A. course in Creative Writing that I wanted to do.  I was very disappointed and had a good cry but when I’d calmed down I thought ‘sod it!’ and decided to keep going with my novel anyway.

In the interest of accountability I have decided, for now, to post progress on my writing everyday.  No excuse for goofing off then!  I did about five hundred words on Emily Swann today.

I’ve also booked a place on an Arvon course and I’ve decided I will sign up for NaNoWriMo in November as well.  I am a writer and with continuous determination and effort I will become a successful writer.  So there!

Meanwhile back to my favourite band!