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Tuesday, 23 December 2008

Seasons Greetings Everyone

My last post of 2008 me thinks. I was going to do a post about my favourite 10 sss's but I've been lazy again. New Year New Leaf is my motto for 2009. I shall return in the new year and focus on what I aim to do in the year ahead. I've decided not to look back over the past year as apart from getting one story published (which is great in itself I know but I had aimed to do so much more) I did bugger all else really. I won't dwell on it but I will say that I set myself the task of finishing my novel but it didn't happen. So next year who knows whats going to happen but I shall have a long list of things I would like to achieve like one being finishing my novel, oh and something I've been saying I am going to do but haven't - I will at the very least submit a story for sale to a magazine.


So, as I close for the year may I just wish you all a Wonderful Xmas and a Fabulous New Year.



Lots of Love



Lily

x

Thursday, 11 December 2008

Another Award!

Paige has awarded me not one but two awards today. I received the Fantastic award once again, giving me an even bigger head! Paige also very generously awarded me with the Superior Scribbler Award:


The Rules
1. Every superior scribbler must name five other super scribblers.
2. Link back to the author and the name of the blog that gave you the award.
3. Display the award and link to this post, which explains the award.
4. Add your name to the Mr Linky List, some way down this page, as a record of who the superest scribblers are.
I give this award to..... Carol and Chris at Only In Thailand, Ken at What Ever I Want, Karen at Get on with it (sorry I know you're running out of space but you deserve it!), Calistro at Writing about Writing and Kerry at Writing at the Window.

Wednesday, 10 December 2008

The Good Luck Fairy finally made her way to me

HOORAH I’VE FINALLY SCORED!!!!!!!!
I am no longer languishing away at the bottom of the leader board. I don’t expect to win Eurofiction but I was seriously starting to get frustrated with my lack of points. I have just 10 hours left to submit (and start) story 5. Not me being lazy (much) but I just couldn’t think of an idea. I had a brain wave the other day though and stupidly forgot about it. (its not really stupid to forget things though is it???) I remembered yesterday while on the bus (gotta love that Brainwave express). It's going to be set on a coach so I’m going to have to channel a lot of memory here. In my life I have spent a fair amount of time on coach trips. One from Plymouth to London to see Michael Jackson when I was 15. On the way back, about 10pm the coach stopped at the lights in a residential area and there must have been a party of truth of dare going on in this house because a man was getting starkers in his drive way! Me and boyf took a trip over two days from where we stayed in Tunisia to the Sahara Desert. I also spent a lot of time coaching it back to Devon when I first moved here because I was so homesick. So I'm happy writing about the sights and sounds etc ect but it's just the idea of what's going to take place that hasn’t quite hit me yet. I’m just going to make a start on it right after this post - LUCKILY I have the day off as I am waiting for boyf's xmas present to arrive.


In other GREAT news the lovely Carol aka Carol and Chris aka Only In Thailand (a wonderful and moving blog so if you haven't been over yet I urge you to stop missing out) has awarded me this Fantastic award which has left me in even higher spirits. I love this award - its such a classy one don't you think.

OK so now for the rules:

1. Copy and paste the rules and instructions into your post.
2. When you post about receiving this award, make sure you include who gave you the award and link it back to them.
3. Post five winners and link it back to them as well.
4. Post five of your addictions.
5. Add the award image.
6. Let your winners know you gave them an award by leaving them a comment on their blog.

So now to rule 3. I pass this to Paige, Calistro, Karen, Sarah G and Womag Writer for all having Fantastic Blogs!!

I have to post my 5 addictions but as one of them should be talking and I have a story to write still I shall be brief:

In no particular order:

1. Chocolate - this is a serious one. I tried giving it up and lasted 2 whole weeks. It made me miserable though and I made up for the 2 weeks I missed by eating twice the amount I used to eat.
2. Blogging - this is on and off depending on how well things are going in other areas of my life. Right now I'm feeling addicted to it again.
3. Writing - even when I'm not writing I'm thinking ooo I shall write about that. I hope to never lose this addiction
4. T.V - this is a really bad one which stops me from doing 2 and 3 but crap programs are always addictive to me. I should really go to Crap Telly Watchers Anonymous but I haven't seen any adverts on TV for that group yet.
5. Reading - this is only really when I have found a book I cannot put down which is a rarity for me sadly. I was addicted to Russell Brand's autobiography which actually got me away from no. 4!!

Apologies for my different posts on this one (my spelling is rubbish today and I accidently hit publish) All done now though!

Saturday, 6 December 2008

Westfield's Shopping Centre (Part One)











Last Sunday I started the ball rolling on my Christmas shopping by heading out to the eagerly anticipated Westfield Centre in Sherpherd's Bush. It took a very long time to be built but it was well worth the wait. It had all my favourite shops under one roof (well all except for Miss Selfridge). It even had a MAC store which had a one person in one person out policy. I went to price up some uGG boots and had to join the very long queue to get in. We gave people hovering in the shop evils while we waited for the door man (yes really) to unhook the rope barrier and let us hover around inside as well. This place is great for parents with small children as we saw plenty of them tootling about in little toy cars (the children that is not the parents) and there is also a Santas Grotto. There are comfy seats galore for bored boyfriends and tired shoppers except of course on the level of the food courts. We went for coffee and found the seating logistics a bit poor but luckily I nabbed a seat just in time to rest our tired feet. I should point out we were two presents and one hour into our shopping at this point. The place is massive and for me it was a little intimidating. I am going again soon just to tackle the top floor. For those of you (like moi) who have absolutely no sense of direction there are machines dotted about the place (I saw at least 2 on each floor) which give you directions to the shop or service you are looking for. There were so many places we didnt go as we were all a bit tired (and hungover) but next time I'll know what to expect. Despite a few teething problems with the place I think it was a million times better than schlepping up and down Oxford Street in the freezing cold.
And to appeal to my loving all things free nature the parking was absolutely FREE! What a result! (only on Sundays)

Tuesday, 25 November 2008

Still working and Holiday

OK so swimming is not happening tonight (she says glad of the excuse). I am still at work waiting for some urgent paperwork to come in so I can send out a contract. So I am taking the oppotunity to tell you about my holiday as promised. I shall add the pics later.
Boyf and I visited Feuterventura where we stayed in the beautiful Oasis Papagaya apartments. The place was HUGE, and we needed to consult the map to find our way to the 3 massive swimming pools and the private Jacuzzi. There was a bowling alley in the grounds which we visited on our first night there. We were outnumbered by the 3 members of staff there and we had our pick of the 10 lanes and 2 pool tables. The weather was hot but not too hot and I managed not to get scorched or have my mobile nicked like in the last holiday. Boyf was excited to discover the only shop selling Haviana flip flops and added another pair to his collection of about 20 pairs of flip flops which yes he does wear come rain or shine. The food was lovely, I wasn't impressed with the meat paella which was essentially a bowl of rice with some random bits of beef buried under the avalanche of Stodge. That said the restaurants were all lovely and the waiters were all friendly and willing to take pictures of loving couples - no mobile phone pinching going on in this place! We spent our second to last day visiting the sand dunes which were a lot like the sahara only nowhere near as hot but the sand is like talcum power. We stumbled upon a nudy beach which seemed to go on for miles. I felt a bit overdressed in my bikini! The week was spent soaking up the sun and not really thinking about anything else. I did try and log onto the Eurofiction site but it wouldn't come up with the log in page for some strange reason. I therefore didn't get to spend the week dreaming up an idea for my next story but luckily the prompts were really good so I didn't have trouble coming up with a story this time around.
It was sadly raining when we arrived home and the cold weather was a shock to the system but it was sooo nice to get back to my own bed. Now I just need to count down the days until the next one.

random pool pic and boyf's feet...










Happy with the fab four and my mini pint...













Nice waiter took our photo...










A good reason not to set up self-timer after too many mini pints...










Kites leading way to nudy beach. Sorry no nudy pics on this blog...

Sunday, 23 November 2008

Pia Pia Piano, Piano

I am the music (wo)man, I come from outer space....
Well something like that anyway...

I was going to tell you about my lovely and WARM (so so warm) holiday but I just have to tell you all about my first piano lesson in ages. Not only was I not writing much, not blogging, not swimming, not even managing to stay up passed 9 to catch Sex and the City reruns on Paramount, I was also not having (or practicing) my piano lessons. My last hour was spent working on the next section of Clocks by Coldplay. This is a song I have wanted to be able to play for so long and I successfully played the intro and some of the singing part to my teacher. No I didn't sing as well. I actually like my teacher, I would never be so cruel.
Maybe at crimbo my family and I can all crowd around the old Yamaha and have a sing song....

'....NOOO!' I hear them cry already My playing may be improving but I will always be tone deaf. So anyway, for my next lesson I have a great long list of things to learn so I am well and truly back into things in that part of my life. Now if my backside can stop freezing off for 5 minutes I will get back to the swimming on Tuesday.

Friday, 21 November 2008

My Eurofiction update

I have so far only submitted two out of the three stories for Eurofiction. I missed the last one as I was on holiday and a week wasn’t enough time for me. I so far have scored diddly squat but as they say it’s a marathon not a sprint. Unfortunately I am in a race all of my own and it looks like I seem to taking part in the three legged spoon race. I’ve not been put off though and have already completed a story for task 4. One of the prompts, however, I have only just realised was the same as the story I wrote for task two (different prompt but the story took on the same direction as this one). I am very inclined to resubmit the same story but using the advice I was given along with my zilch points. What do you think?? Your advice as always is invaluable to me.

Wednesday, 19 November 2008

What's been happening in the last month

I am officially published...


I mentioned this before but I can finally see the proof with my own eyes! My short story 'Cutting the cord' which I entered into the 5photostory Competition didn't make the shortlist but it has been published in an anthology called 43 'L' plates. Not bad for one story in the first five I sent 'out there'. I am made up to be able to see it in print with my name above it! This was a difficult story to write, having to link 5 pictures - a dog, scissors, L Plate, Railway and a padlock, was not an easy job so it's extra special to see it in print. Now I just need to climb out of my cloud and write some more decent stories... more on my lack of these in my next post.


AHH it's so nice to be back.

I'm back

Firstly I would just like to apologise for my total lack of posts the last month. I hadn't planned to stay away this long. It just happened. I've been lazy, busy, not well, on holiday and pretty much all in that order. But I am back now and I have lots to talk about. I won't bore you in the space of one very looooong post but I'll just say Hi for now and I'll be back tonight (I hope) with some writing and non-writing related chit chat.

See you then

Lily
x

Saturday, 18 October 2008

An Award, an update and a little about me

It’s been a looong week. I was quite tired yesterday as I went to see Oasis perform at Wembley on Thursday night with boyf and our friends. What a great gig. It was my first Oasis gig and I was a little nervous as I was told Oasis crowds are a little more intense than most others I have seen. They have an immense and devoted following. The crowd chanted Liam’s name and sang along in union to every song. I was a little more reserved but I was surprised that I knew most of the words to songs that take me back to being a teenager living in Devon, smoking in the park and disguising the smell with incense. Their music is as popular now as it was then - even to people like me who dare to pose as a fan!
I ducked out of the final song ‘I am the Walrus’ because I didn’t want to get caught in the mosh pit that seemed to have formed around us. It was the best gig I have been to by a mile.

Unfortunately though I got to bed quite late and missed my bus yesterday morning. This caused me no end of turrets and even shouted at a few pushy school children. Yes I meant pushy in the literal sense aarrrggghhh!

Also thanks to Sarah G as I received my raffle tickets! Fingers crossed for me!! Its for a great cause (and a wii) so please donate to her very very worthy cause. I really want to see her Disney outfit!! It takes a couple mins max to make a donation/buy raffle tickets by simply clicking on the widget in the top right hand corner of this blog. Just remember every good turn deserves another.

And on that note to cheer me up yesterday and today (I started writing this yesterday!) I switched on my computer and from somewhere that deep dark scowl my morning had imprinted on me turned into a wide smile as I saw Karen and Paige had awarded me with this award:



I would pass this back to Karen and Paige but they passed it to me so I pass this to:

Calistro
Sarah G
Novel Lily
Writing at the Window
The Novel Racers - Hoorah this means all of you!!!

Also I must answer these q's in order to complete my acceptance:

1. Where is your cell phone? Under my quilt....somewhere

2. Where is your significant other? at his house

3. Your hair color? dark Brown

4. Your mother? at home (I think)

5. Your father? As above

6. Your favorite thing? Internet no telly aaarrhhh dont make me choose

7. Your dream last night? Unknown

8. Your dream/goal? Finish novel

9. The room you're in? Bedroom

10. Your hobby? Reading

11. Your fear? snails

12. Where do you want to be in 6 years? in a nice house

13. Where were you last night? Bedroom

14. What you're not? confident

15. One of your wish-list items? my own home

16. Where you grew up? Devon

17. The last thing you did? had a shower

18. What are you wearing? bth robe

19. Your TV? LCD

20. Your pets? None - would love a cat though

21. Your computer? amazing

22. Your mood? content

23. Missing someone? always

24. Your car? red, 4 wheels

25. Something you're not wearing? earrings

26. Favorite store? Waterstones

27. Your summer? what summer?

28. Love someone? Yes

29. Your favorite color? Green

30. When is the last time you laughed? this morning

31. Last time you cried? cant remember - nearly the other night cuz i had to pee and there was no loo nearby - a harrowing time for all!!

Wednesday, 15 October 2008

1 story down, 9 to go

Not writing tonight I have decided. I had major hissy fits last night and was up until nearly midnight finishing my story for task one of Eurofiction. It was my own fault really. My friend roped me into going to an Ann Summers party. I've been to a couple before but I think I have seen it all. I just about escaped being pinned down by the hostess with the mostess who tried to force me into a 'gangster' outfit. Her selling point was that I could wear it out. I think not some how. I did win a 'sexy' badge, and a willy straw which was good as I love anything free me!
So after that fun filled evening of rudeness and prudeness (mainly from me - must be the devonshire girl coming out in me), ranting and tears I finally got my story sent. Phew. Now time for the next one.

Wednesday, 8 October 2008

Computers dont care what I think!

OK so Stumbleupon has now been banished from my computer. It served its purpose for all of a day and a half after which I realised it had taken up too much of my time and slowed my computer down a ridiculous amount. My blood boiled as I screamed at my computer screen for being so stupid and slow - as if it would care what I thought! When I had finished my ranting at inanimate objects and looking at them disapprovingly I got on with first story for Eurofiction. I picked one of the three prompts immediately and came up with a great idea. Two more ideas and half written stories later I think I'm onto a winner. I have until the 15 th to complete and I'm confident it will be ready. In preparation I went to the library and took out Teach yourself: Creative Writing by Dianne Doubtfire & Ian Burton. It has a really helpful chapter on the short story. I had never read it before and I wonder how I wrote a story before. It maps your story out from beginning, middle, end. Plus it was free which is always a good thing!

Wednesday, 1 October 2008

Look what I stumbled across

Sorry, bad pun but I came across a brilliant website today. Check out StumbleUpon. You register as you do, free of charge, wait a few minutes, and there you have it. You're just a click away from discovering some great (and not so great) websites. You can block the sites you don’t like and add the ones you do like. You can customise your search to only bring up certain topics such as movies, books, writing. There are more but those were just a few of mine. It’s really useful but also addictive so be warned!!

I just found this brilliant site amidst all my stumbling:

http://www.webook.com/911writersblock

I know I know my writers block may have a little something to do with all this stumbling but Its proving useful. Just one more hit.......

I think I may be here a while

Monday, 29 September 2008

It's been a whole year....

...and what a great year it's been. I've made friends who are as passionate about writing as I am, I'm getting my very first story published in two weeks and most importantly I still want to be a writer.

I am renowned for starting things and not seeing them though. But a year later and I am still here. I think writing this blog instills the mentality in me to do what I say I'm going to. My dad bought me a piano 4 years ago and I am finally having piano lessons; I vowed to do at least one exercise class a week and I am no longer the most uncoordinated person in my Aquafit class; I said I would get published, I never thought I would but it's happening. I have a shitty day and I blog about it and things don't seem so bad anymore. Especially when I read the lovely comments left for me. I have more determination to get off my arse and try new things. That way I have something to tell you all. If I didn't do I couldn't say. It's as simple as that.

This is the start of another blog year, no more funks, for at least a month anyway!! I shall be busying myself with shorties for the next 20 weeks. Yes, that's right I'm registered on Slingink. As soon as tomorrow rolls around with my wages (FINALLY) I shall be applying to take part in Eurofiction. I'll either be talking about that a bit or I won't be talking much at all. I hope that wont be the case but I'll still be doing the rounds with my stranger than strange comments and adding more annoying options into the Blackbox. See, I'm feeling better already.
Please have a slice of blog cake and join me in my 1st blogday celebrations!!


HAPPY BIRTHDAY BLOG!!!!!!

Monday, 22 September 2008

Writing or Reading?

I confess - that suggestion in the Black Box came from me so if it gave you a headache I apologise. In the million or so times I've clicked on the widget so far I have only come across that one once and I could not answer it so I felt bad for adding that one in. I think however, I can answer it now. I haven’t read anything in a while but over my less than brilliant week I’ve found comfort in my book of the moment 'The Accidental Wife' by Rowan Coleman. When things get a bit much it's there to take me away from things for a bit and it makes me feel happy again. It doesn't make things go away but it puts them on hold for a bit. Aaahhhh the power of a good book! I bought it and started reading it ages ago and then fell into a reading funk where I was going to bed too late and being too busy to soak in the bath. Now I’m right in the thick of it and I’m loving it. Only, now I don’t feel like writing! So I think that decision is answerable for some (me in particular) right now. I have decided to apply for Eurofiction (once my registration is confirmed) after seeing it on Calistro's blog so I think that will give me a big kick up the bum. Sorry to any people whisked here by the Black Box - I'm not normally this depressing!

Friday, 12 September 2008

Story sent, now time for the free chocolate

Today I sent off my entry to Company for the LBD short story competition. I also cut out my token for my free galaxy bar to celebrate. I'm feeling very lucky as lots of lovely bloggers have wished me Good Luck for my entry. I'm now back to my novel but I'm off to Sally’s Competition Calendar on the right. I'm going to start writing not just for competitions but for the sheer enjoyment of it. That way when a competition does come up I may have something perfect for it and there wont be a mad dash for ideas.

I would also just like to say thanks to everyone so far for leaving messages. I've really enjoyed reading them all and replying. I’ve also started using google reader so I can follow all the new blogs I have discovered through the Black Box. Now I'm off for just one more go....

Wednesday, 10 September 2008

What a Wonderful Widget!

Check it out (to the right, to the right) , I'm hooked, your probably already hooked. If your not then you will be. I've already had some lovely new visitors. I've had a visit from Caroline herself and been introduced to Carol and Chris. Checking out their blogs are weaning me off the widget slightly. I just love reading new blogs!!! Thanks Caroline and Stray. I am a very happy (and somewhat distracted) blogger.

In other news, I managed (a record for me) a whopping 1, 851 words for my LBD entry. I honestly thought the closing date was the end of September but after a 2nd look yesterday I realised the closing date is the 16th and they only accept hard copies so I aim to get it sent on Friday at the latest to make sure it gets there on time. Anyhoo getting off the point slightly I wasnt 100% happy with the half written story that just wasnt going anywhere and so I took a chance on a idea that just came to me yesterday and went with it. I couldn't stop typing. I finished the story in about 2 hours (with occasional crisp eating breaks). I now just need to edit it and away it can go. Wish me luck!!

Thursday, 4 September 2008

Believe the hype!!!

I'm not really a huge fan of Batman films so I wasn't itching to go and see this. I read excellent reviews and I must admit I was curious to see this amazing performance by the late Heath Ledger. As soon as I booked the tickets I put in Lolly's copy of Batman Begins just to catch up and I loved the new take on this story. Probably not convincing to some but I loved the reality of it. By the end of the film I couldnt wait to see The Dark Knight. I was worried it would be a huge anti-climax as I hadn't read one bad review. I needn't have worried! I sat there mouth open wide with a gob full of popcorn and just sat there mesmorised when the Joker first made an appearance. It wasn't just the Joker's ability to make the audience laugh and terrify them at the same time it was the amazing stunts (one in particular involving a police van, the Joker and Batman). Christian Bale was brilliantly convincing as both Bruce Wayne and Batman. Negative points some reviews choose to include were that the film sagged when the Joker wasn’t in it which I don’t agree with. Ledger was amazing in it I have to agree but you only have to see it for yourself to know that this film's success doesn't rest on one man's shoulders. I would give the cast and crew ALOT more credit than that. Special mention to the special effects makeup team for Aaron Eckhart - just excellent and scared me so much that I was scared to go to the toilet while he was on screen. The only downside was that I wasn't keen on Maggie Gyllenhaal as Rachel. I wouldn’t knock her as an actress because I liked her in Stranger than Fiction but I think once an actress (Katie Holmes - Batman Begins) has already made the roll her own it is hard to imagine anyone else as the character. I loved the new take on this film and would definite be up for the next one.

Monday, 1 September 2008

What I am currently working on....

This is kind of the setting for my short story for LBD/Company Magazine. I love the setting and the story idea (especially the title I have come up with) I made a start on the story a while back when I quizzed my aunty about life working at a telephone exchange. After my last attempt at a short story competition entry I am not leaving this to the last minute. I came up with three characters last night. The heroine, the love interest and the love interests sister.

Also today I have been on the search yet again for creative writing classes in my area. I cannot find any courses suited to me in my area. I found a good evening class at Mary Ward but its just too far for me to get to in time as are all the other not so good ones. I found one across the road from where I work which would be perfect if it weren't for the fact that it was an Advanced Course. I would opt for a Distance learning course but I fear I wouldn't get as much out of it as I would attending a real life class. Any recommendations for any Distance Learning Classes would be greatly appreciated.

Wednesday, 27 August 2008

Belgian Blogger

Today I am in Brussels working in one of my Company's (not my Company - the one I work for) other offices. The office is very nice, much nicer than ours in that it actually has air conditioning and a toilet brush. I am without a computer in the evening for the next few days so haven't been able to do my 100 words. I know I know..pen and paper...feel free to yell at me. I will definately try and get some done today and not take another year trying to get another 25% done.
Oh I have just chucked away a very dodgy looking snicker bar which I bought for €1.40. No idea how long it has been around and it was half the size of a normal bar. That will teach me not to buy the Belgian Chocs.

In more writing and less chocolate related news I have purchased my copy of Company since I last blogged (not yet managed to get the Galaxy bar yet - what is wrong with me??) I am currently working on my story for that which I am very enthusiastic about so thanks to Helen for posting that on the Novel Racers blog.

Have a great Wednesday!!

Tuesday, 19 August 2008

For Lolly

This post is dedicated to Lolly

As requested I am dedicating this to my lovely sister Lolly. Yes that’s Lolly and Lily. Don’t judge us please. I read an article recently about an author who used a pseudonym like a lot of us (yes that includes me). It struck me as very interesting that the author was a man taking on the persona of a woman. This enabled him to write a woman's character and views more freely. I wonder if I renamed myself Keith Merewhether, whether that would enable me to tap into my more masculine side. What is in a name? I know I don’t tend to look at the names on books unless someone has recommended one to me or I'm looking for an author I particularly like. I always use my real name for short stories but felt that Lily was more suited to the type of book I am writing. Would I still read a chicklit novel if it were written by a man. Maybe I have done and just didn't know about it. Maybe I may try my next short story under a male pseudonym and see where it gets me.

Sunday, 17 August 2008

I did it!!


19645 / 80000 words. 25% done!

Monday, 11 August 2008

Nearly a quarter of the way there

Nearly at that quarter way mark. Over the next few days? No probs. Feeling quite tired now. Need all my energy for Aquafit tomorrow. I ACHE just thinking about it. I need to look good for wedding on Sat (not my own I should add). Sorry it sounds like a robot is writing this but I left it too late to write anything interesting and human but wanted to say HELLO.

Saturday, 9 August 2008

Don't drink and write

Ok so apart from my 100 words entry for today I haven't written anything since Thursday. I was a little apprehensive about reading back what I had written as I had consumed what I think would have amounted to a whole bottle of wine. I got in after having drinks with an old friend and realised I hadn't done my 100 words. It was only around 10.30 and felt being half cut wasn't a good enough reason to not write my words. I just read them back and I was so impressed. I don't remember writing most of it and there was only one spelling mistake. I wouldn't use alcohol as an aid in future though as I recall it took me a while to write these words.

Meanwhile back at procrastination manor I have been hooked (HOOKED I TELL YOU) on this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FArZxLj6DLk

Wednesday, 6 August 2008

What you see isn't always what you get

Yesterday evening was Ladies Night at my local. No, not bar, pool. I spent about 2 hours there in total which isn't bad for just under £4. The half an hour that I spent in the main pool was interesting. Each time I swam a length I would pass these two women. Well, **** me if they didn't spend the whole time talking about food (and some other stuff). But seriously, without sounding like I was deliberately listening in on their conversation, it was amazing to me just how much ground they covered in only half an hour. When they had finished their conversation about what they should or shouldn't be eating (burgers came up at one point and all I could think about were the heavenly golden arches), they were talking about friends, work, love. I only got snippets of the conversation each time our waters met but they sounded like great characters. I had intended to leave after 30 minutes but then I met someone. No, not a guy - I'm very much in love. No, I kind of made a new friend. She was the sort of person you don't come across every day but she has the power to befriend you. The rest of that two hours were spent chatting while attempting an aquafit class (if you've ever done one then you'll be feeling my pain). I think I got her life story in that time. She was so interesting and easy to talk to. I have only read about characters like her before. Like I said in a comment recently, it is amazing how interesting even the most mundane situations can be.

Monday, 4 August 2008

I made the top three!!

Yay I came runner up at something. The lovely Lucy Diamond and her other half placed me in good company at the weekend when they announced the !st, 2nd and 3rd places of the limerick competition. I really just wanted to blog about that as I am so pleased about it.

In other news I managed to well and truely mess up my blog at the weekend. I lost a lot, well all, of my widgets just because I wanted a new template. If anyone can recommend any good template sites I can visit I would be really grateful. I want it to look professional but not boring at the same time.

Right, back to the word count!!!!

Saturday, 2 August 2008

My top 10 tips for writing

Here are my top tips for writing. They have really helped me out since I started writing on a regular basis:

1. Tell yourself you are a writer. I came out as a writer in September of last year and the more I say it the more I believe it. Check out my first blog post. You heard it here first!

2. Try and write something, however little, every day. Try Helen’s 100 words a day blog. I have found it really works and stops writing becoming something you dread.

3. Try and stay away from the TV/Facebook/You tube (its easier said than done I know) – these are my biggest distractions of all time. I have to sit in my room where the telly has not got very good reception, but I am currently addicted to Lauren Lukes makeup videos on You Tube. Having said that its nice to have breaks and they can sometimes allow for ideas to come through when they are not being forced out.

4. A laptop is good to have or a computer as if you are like me it is impossible to read back my own writing. Internet is great for research, just as long as its research for your writing and not what eyeshadow you should be wearing that day!

5. Be organised – Y writer is a great tool to use. I read about this on Paige’s blog and it has helped me organise the novel I’m writing. It was in such a mess so thanks to Paige for blogging about that (and to Calistro for pointing it out). This is a tool for editing but as my novel was looking like a tarantino movie I had to use this while still in the writing stage.

6. Write a blog or keep a diary – whatever you like. I have noticed some You Tubers even do it. I don’t look too great on camera so I don’t think I will be doing that any time soon.

7. Join the community – you have no idea how many people there are in your shoes. I thought I was the only one who wanted to be a writer but couldn’t and I’m not. I have had so much help with my writing be it advice, encouragement, links to competitions, useful website etc. The most helpful person I know (I have never met her in person I should note) is Calistro so a big thank you and shout out to you if you are reading this.

8. Enter competitions. I have entered a few now and although I haven’t won any its built up my confidence and I have had some advice from one editor in particular who wants to publish one of my stories.

9. Always keep a notebook handy. You have no idea when inspiration strikes. You can be in the bath, half asleep in bed, on the toilet, standing up on the bus. It always happens to me in those places. I think its because I’ve switched off and not really thinking about anything which allows the ideas to come to the surface. (obviously I know you wouldn’t have a notebook while on the toilet but keep one as close as possible.

10. Learn to take criticism and advice. You can join writers forums where you can post stuff and have it critiqued by fellow writers. If this is daunting for you (like me) you can ask a friend or relative to read your work and tell you what they like/don’t like. My sister and my mum are my target audience so I always ask them to critique my work.


I have loads more so I will keep adding these for anyone who is interested. Please comment with your top tips too!

PS As a kind of a MeMe I tag anyone who wants to post their top ten tips (let me know if you do so I can come over and learn a thing or two!)

Friday, 1 August 2008

Annoyed with myself

Unfortunately the short story idea came too late. I was up till one this morning, and I saw no light at the end of the tunnel. I had the concept, the research but unfortunately the writing went out the window for this one. It all felt too rushed and it’s a story idea I love and I have wanted to write about my Dad being at sea for a long long time. What I had at one o’clock this morning did not do the story, me or most important of all. its characters any justice at all. I will carry on working on it and submit it elsewhere when I feel happy with it and when I find a suitable home of course. I’m just disappointed and annoyed at myself for giving up on it because it was tailor made for that competition. I will have the night off tonight as I am going to see Hancock but I'll have the whole weekend to do it right.

Wednesday, 30 July 2008

Competition

There was a young woman called Lucy
With a competition that’s ever so juicy
Please enter today
Else you'll feel in dismay
And you’ll be gutted you didn’t win

Sorry I’m all out of limericks for this week. If you have a good one go visit her site and check out this post. Its attracting a lot of closet limericksters (i know thats not really a word) and theres a great prize on offer too. While I wasn't bombarding poor Lucy with the worst Limericks ever I could be seen working on my short story which is due in tomorrow. I'm cutting it really fine and I wish I had a bit longer but it's got to be done. I'm not giving up now. I spent all evening learning about life at sea back in the late 70s and early 80s and I feel a lot more informed and confident about writing the sort of story I want. Anyways I wont ramble on as I need to sleep.

Monday, 28 July 2008

Garden: Done; Writing:Ermm not so much

This is the result of all of my + 3 others hard work yesterday. 4 hours and 10 full garden waste sacks later and we were finished. Personally I think it looked better before but at least now you can see where you're going.

Writing wise I managed a measley 206 words all weekend. After many failed attempts at an entry piece for the Move it or Lose it comp I finally managed to come up with an idea I love. That wasn't until this morning on the bus of all times and places. I always seem to get inspiration on the bus to work. I can barely see straight when I get on the bus to work let alone think. I have compliled a HUUUGE list of questions for my research and sent them off to the two people who are going to provide me with some much needed help. I'll let you know how I get on by way of nudging up the progress bar hopefully before its due in on Thursday.

Saturday, 26 July 2008

Raring to go

I'm in a good frame of mind for writing today. I did no writing last night. Me, boyf, 'bro in law', and 'bro in law's' girlf spent all evening playing on the wii and chasing nats around while covering our legs in bug spray. I had a few too many Savannahs while convinced they were giving me a hangover, skipping the getting pissed part and more than likely attributing to my losing every game we played. It quickly hit 3am and after the 5th 'just one more go' we decided to hit the hay. I have now been up since 10 and funnily enough I don't have a hangover (always drink water before bed - it works) but I woke to a queue for the bathroom and an urgent bladder busting urge to pee. I am now sitting in boyf's garden and am not at all bothered by the squawking Irish parrot (he really does have an Irish accent) and the 1 year old who I am sure is saying something really interesting but can't for the life of me figure out what it is. Apart from this blog I have written nothing so far today but I will. I have the entire evening ahead of me as boyf is off to a party, which I decided not to go to at the last minute. They never put anything decent on Saturday nights box (not everyone goes out on saturday don't they know) so I can't see myself getting distracted by that. I am slightly hooked on bored.com though but I'll try and steer clear of that. So watch this space and I'll report tomorrow after the assault on the garden that is taking place. Check it out, its well overdue for a haircut - you can't even see the garage at the end of it:



Friday, 25 July 2008

I've submitted a competition piece....sort of

Do you have a waterstones card? If you do then you can probably ignore this as you'll have seen this already. If not then you might want to read on and on and on and on. Waterstones are running a new competition giving you the chance to win one of the new e-readers now available on pre order for £199.


If you, like me, are in no position to ever afford one of these and are a bit sceptical about them then why not try and win one. All you have to do is log onto the Waterstones website (as if you haven't been on this week already - you know who you are!) and tell them why in no more than 100 words why you should be chosen to review the Reader from Sony. Oh yes you get to review it for them too. So its a great writer/reader competition and lets us beloved book readers have our say.

Thursday, 24 July 2008

This fence is sooo uncomfortable

I keep getting myself into bother. I don’t like seeing people slated when they aren’t in the room to defend themselves. I won't say who I was defending because you won't know them anyway but I couldn't stand to see their name being dragged through the mud without a fair trial if you will. Whenever I think I'm doing the right thing it always ends up being me against the whole room. Why do I get involved. I’m not a confident person (I am quite loud though) and I hate, and I stress the word hate here like this haaaaaaattttttte!!!! confrontation. So why do I do it? I state my case and everyone is on me. To me that is not a debate when it starts as a one on one and ends up as a 4 on 1. I get all flustered and go red and I can't debate well. The words don't seem to come out right and it's too cringey to watch. Is it best to stand up for what you believe in and look a fool in the process or stand back and not say a word?

Wednesday, 23 July 2008

Not much done today I'm afraid

That's right I didn't action any of my good intentions as mentioned in my last post. I did manage to do some research for my book though. As my novel centres largely around an up and coming hair/fashion show, something I know nothing about, I decided to watch America's next top model from 10 till 11 this morning and I watched World Fashion on My Channel during the adverts. I got some stats of some of the models down and some outfit descriptions so not a complete waste of time. America's next top model left me throwing things at the screen. 'They are so bitchy' and 'stop crying you ungrateful cow' were the only words I could think of.
After that I went shopping. I didn't come across anyone interesting. It was afterall only Asda.
The rest of the day was spent surfing the net, googling random celebrities and not much else.
Still, tomorrow is another day (back at work) and I have a free evening to write. I'm going to go now as I haven't even done my 100 words. Yes I know I'm a slacker.

Tuesday, 22 July 2008

It's only Tuesday and already I need a day off!!

Had a very hectic day on Sunday. Me, boyf and ‘sister in law’ took ‘Sister in law's’ offspring to Paradise Zoo in Broxbourne. We spent all day encouraging the offspring who is 1 to look (not wave your feet) at the animals that lived there. We went to the tiger enclosure where there was a throng of parents and their children asking what the two tigers were doing. ‘They are doing what adults do' replied boyf much to the relief of the little boy’s mother who was lost for words. There must be something in the air because we were told to keep quiet as most of the animals were pregnant. I will try and post some pics later tonight as I am off to see Mamma Mia after work. I can't wait to get in there and start singing away.

On the writing front I have finally started my short story. I now only have 9 days left but that should be plenty if I stay focused and don’t get lazy. It should be OK because I have just booked tomorrow off work so I will try and spend a chunk of that working on it (after my big fat lie in that is). I think I will do the café thing again soon as I found that sitting by myself with nothing to do but wait for my tea to cool, actually forces me to write. It is also great for listening to characters you wouldn’t normally meet. Hmm maybe I should go shopping too and see who I come across. All in the name of research!

Saturday, 19 July 2008

Exciting News and Awards for Excellence

This was me earlier in Café Nero while waiting for boyf to get his wig chopped. I couldn't blog this at the time of writing because Blogger and Vodafone don't seem to agree. I can't blog from my mobile. If anyone on V/fone can, please tell me how. I hate all this 'this was me earlier' stuff on my blog. I want to be up to the minute breaking news. Ok I know I'm not really that exciting. Still, I have some special news, to me anyway. Today...drumroll....is my.....wait for it....100th post!!!!! I'm so excited and proud of myself. I'm quite emotional as I write this still nursing my tea in Nero. I am sooo dreading trying to read my writing later. I know its bloody awful isn't it!

I would like to say thanks to all those people who have read my blog, come back again and again and for all the wonderful messages and support. I would have given up on 'my baby' a long time ago otherwise.







A while back Paige awarded me an 'Excellent' award. I did not pass this on at the time as I told myself I would do this when I got to this post. An incentive if you will and it makes it all the more special. For her comments, friendship, emails and just all round excellentness I pass this on to Paige.
For making me laugh so so much whenever I read her blog I'm also awarding this to Karen.
Last but not least I award Callistro for all her advice and question answering, and also being the reason I started this blog in the first place (I googled Miss Write and Writing about Writing is what popped up). Since I found her blog last year I set this blog up in September and have learnt a lot along the way. I've sent stories out, am on my way to being published this Autumn and I've made some great friends. I look forward to my next 100 posts and making more friends along the way.

Friday, 18 July 2008

Today I have been mostly reading.....




















Great reads if I do say so myself. I loved Callistro's story. So much so it left me feeling very inspired. I am definately going to start sending work out to magazines. I just need to remind myself of the guidelines as seen on Womag Writer's blog (Thank you!). I have only had the chance to read Sarah's story from You're Note the Only One which I could really relate to. I still get mad when those girls add me on Facebook! Really winds me up - Shame my memory can't be as short as theirs.
I look forward to reading the rest later and feel even more inspired by the stories chosen to grace the pages of this wonderful book. Well done Sarah + team!

No other news to report except that I am feeling much brighter and positive. Must be all the great reading material

Thursday, 17 July 2008

Fighting the Funk

I am feeling a little less 'funky' today thanks to some kind words. Comments always always cheer me up so thanks to anyone who has ever left me one. They mean a lot and make a huge difference to how I feel about my blogging. As long as I know you're there it gives me a reason to be here.
To combat the pangs of crapness I've upped my Vitamin B intake by shopping for liver, salmon, potatoes, eggs and nuts. Tonight I had the salmon and successfully managed to stink the whole house out much to my sister's delight. 'Everything stinks!' She's right there and it didn't even taste that nice. I did get to use the hollandaise sauce that has been a longstanding member of my condiments collection for the past 2 years (It lived with me in my last place as well). Tomorrow is liver night (ark at me the ex veggie). I'm sure I'l be feeling better in no time - roll on the weekend....

Tuesday, 15 July 2008

Feeling Funktastic


Feeling WAY too tired and moody to blog or write much over the last couple of days so here are some pics from my Sunday afternoon. Myself and boyf went for a lovely stroll (ha! try 4 mile trek) around Virginia water. The weather was lovely and warm and we even managed to take a dip along the mini waterfall. I slipped on some slime and nearly ended up on my arse. Luckily I managed to keep upright even if I did manage to look a bit of a tit in the process. I proceeded to get the hell out of that water and back onto the lovely green albeit very muddy grass.
Although my feet might not have agreed at the time it was nice to walk off the Sunday Roast we had at the Cricketers in Bagshot (right next to a well known Royal couple, they didn't pop into their local Beefeater while we were there though. Oh well maybe next time)
My outlook on life is a little less grim today. I feel less tired but still feeling a bit crappy and a bit 'oh what is the point of all this' and just generally feeling sorry for myself. I still haven't started my short story yet and I feel another funk coming on. I best just stop telling you about it and get writing before it really sets in. I need something exciting to happen...QUICK
Sorry for the moan but it's a blog nonetheless...there are some pretty pics to take your mind off the depression I have no doubt bestowed upon you



Saturday, 12 July 2008

3,264 written since Mid June - I can't believe my sprightly fingers

I have just completed a whopping (for me) 672 words for the 100 words a day blog. I have now finally got my percentage bar to 20% - an amount I've been striving to get to since March, as blogged about here. I am so lame. But its been a good few weeks. Since the 100 words a day blog began back in mid June I have written 3,264. I couldn't quite believe it until I re-added everything up for the second time. Some days are a struggle and I have missed a few out but it has been a definite help. It's not a chore either because even if you only do the minimum of 100 words it only takes about 5 minutes. I have also received the request for my declaration for my short story which should be in print in an anthology in the Autumn. I will blog about that when I ever see it in my hands. This is a first for me so I am a little nervous about running around all excited about it.
I am now going to get started on the short story competition I found on Sally's site. Sooo... the percentage bar on my novel may slow down a bit again although I will still be doing my 100 words.

Wednesday, 9 July 2008

Some Pics

I'm feeling too tired to write so here are some pics from my Dorset trip, I would quite like to become a recluse here:




What does your music taste say about you?

What Your Taste in Music Says About You
Your musical tastes are upbeat and conventional.
You are an easy going, optimistic person.

Family and friends are very important to you.
You enjoy caring for and helping other people.

You thrive in a tranquil environment, and you do your best to keep things peaceful.
You enjoy your life. You have your priorities straight.
a href="What Does Your Taste in Music Say About You?/a>

Saturday, 5 July 2008

Back on Wednesday

I'm writing this post while I try to remain awake. I have just about managed to write my 100 words which was alright. A good contribution to the story. I have had a breakthrough with my novel. I finally realised what was missing all along. I have made my heroine's best friend the other main character. I think it is fair to say that depending on what book I am reading at the time (Sushi for Starters by Marian Keyes - nearly finished it and loving it by the way) my novel changes in style. There are three main female characters in the book I am reading at the moment and it works very well creating cliff hangers at every turn.

I won't go on any more, partly because I don't have much else to report but mainly because I am knackered, I spent all day at a picnic in Ali Pali and had a few too many peronis. I will be away now until Wednesday as my boyf and I are off to stay with friends in Dorset. Till then....

Tuesday, 1 July 2008

Time for a Shortie

It has been a while since I sent a story 'out there' so I have been visiting Sally Q's Competition Calendar. I came across a great short story competition there. Its called Reading Writers Move it or Lose it Competition which seemed quite apt for me at the moment. I won't provide a link because if you haven't been already I would strongly advise you to visit Sally's site. It's saved me a LOT of time and effort looking for competitions to enter.

Sunday, 29 June 2008

Books Galore and some famous people

Yesterday while out shopping for a recommended piano book I decided to treat myself. After having to use my credit card for the first time this year on MY TEETH I decided what the heck, I need some good reads. Despite the dusty pile my mum gave me that I will get around to reading I couldn't resist walking around Waterstones. Normally I, like Carrie Bradshaw, love the smell of library books but I also love the feel of a new one so as you can see from my carefully chosen 4 (I was in there a while and just couldn't decide on all the great books - a random man even told me Mister Pip was a great read, not sure, What do you think, anyone read it?) I chose the following:

The Accidental Mother by Rowan Coleman - this was on the table they set out with all the other good'ns
The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold - I have been meaning to read this for donkeys as it was raved about in my last job
The Accidental Wife by Rowan Coleman- Also on the good'n pile.
PS I Love you by Cecilia Ahern (please note I purposely chose this cover as opposed to the alternative one. I just hope I manage to stop looking at it long enough to read it. I have only just seen the film for the 8th time this week and I think it's time to read the book. I have already flicked through it and noted a few differences but I have been told the book is waaay better so heres hoping I will enjoy it as much.

I didn't get round to any writing when I got back as I went with my Dad, Sister and Boyfriend to see Britains Got Talent. It was so cool, like seeing the programme in a really big living room. The most random thing of the night was seeing or rather hearing 100s of screaming teeny boppers go mad when 2 members of Mcfly randomly walked into the giant living room (or the O2 as its more popularly known). I, upon realising who they were just pointed and screamed as well. I'm not even a fan.

Monday, 23 June 2008

NOOOOOOOO Oh no wait, that's better

Sometimes my lack of backup can make me so mad and very worried. Sometimes it can make me scream and shout and cry. But you know what... sometimes it can be for the best. Take today. I was working away on my 100 words and after a lot of what can only be described as p*ssing about I lost everything I had written. It wasn't alot but I was near completing my 100 words and I thought what I had written was pretty good so I was a little annoyed with myself and more so with my computer which i decided to kick - as if that would teach it. I got over it and re-wrote my 100 words and more. My lack of attention did me a favour as my rewrite was so much better. I guess me deleting now just saved me time in the long run.

Thursday, 19 June 2008

100 Words a Day

Today I joined 100 words a day blog and for the first time in weeks I have increased my word count. Not by a lot but if I keep it up, and I intend to (I don't want to lag behind) I'll be well on my way to being at least a quarter of the way there. It's actually putting the fun back into writing again so for that I'd like to say thanks to Helen for setting it up.

Wednesday, 18 June 2008

Open Wide


I had my first visit to the dentist today since... since......since as long as I can remember. Put it this way I was in a school uniform last time I was at the dentist. I went in with the fear that my dentist would look at me all disapproving but instead she was really really nice. She even laughed at all my nervous bad jokes. Best of all I can keep all my own teeth. I do have something she called 'pocketing' and for that she supplied me with copious amounts of anti-biotics so no drinking for me this weekend. Luckily for me I am off to see Frankie Boyle on Saturday so I will find things funny without the aid of alcohol. So to round up it would seem not all dentists have bad breath (just like the one I had when I was in said uniform), they don’t all despise the NHS patients like me and it's really NOT ok to avoid the dentist for 10+ years. If you, like me have never been before as an adult just make sure you have your credit card at the ready. I spent more than I bargained for but hey not bad considering I was exempt from paying the last time I went!

Wednesday, 11 June 2008

I'm a natural

Whilst my fingers are failing to dance across the computer keyboard they are happily playing a tune on my musical keyboard. My first EVER lesson went very well. I was told I was very good (even though I made a bunch of mistakes). What I lack in skill I make up for in tenacity, I have always said that. Hopefully I will able to combine my writing skills with my piano playing and be the next Kate Nash. Shame I can't sing huh!

Monday, 9 June 2008

Rejection... and how not to deal with it

No writing done as I am feeling the talent ebbing away following another discovery that I ddn't place in another competition. I didn't think I would (yes, that attitude really helps) and I'm OK with it but I still can't help feeling rejected. It must be the Aquarian in me that takes these things to heart. Why doesn't rejection make me more aggressive in the face of defeat. Why do my fingers suddenly lose the urge to dance gracefully across a keyboard and come up with something that kicks the ass of the last thing that I wrote. I enter competions to keep me writing something creative, however little but each time I don't place I lose the urge to write. I know I have to toughen up and keep writing.... and I will.

On a brighter note I have managed to sort out one of my things to do before I die (I know its usually before your 30 but I don't think I should think like that, I only have 2.5 years left till then - look at me I am sooooo optimistic). On Wednesday my classically trained neighbour is going to give me my very first piano lesson. I am quite excited. I will finally be able to make use of the keyboard/piano (keyno, piboard? - maybe not!) that my Dad bought me about 4 years ago.

Tuesday, 3 June 2008

What a Feeling!

I have just sent my entry for the Waterstones Postcard competition. I didn't realised how much I missed that rush you get when clicking the send button. Exhilerating. Right enough chat it's back to the 9-5 and I shall be working hard on my novel for the rest of the week. Lets hope I can continue where I left off before my holiday.

Sunday, 1 June 2008

3 Ideas

Still no work done as I have just lost my weekend to my boyfriend's neice's 1st birthday. Yesterday I went to London with my Mum and spent a lot of time and money in Hamleys. What a great shop. The way I was carrying on anyone would think the toys were for me. Today was the party and I have never seen so many cute kids in one room. I'm not broody or anything but I was tempted to adopt all of them. Despite the lost weekend I did manage to come up with 3 different ideas for my Waterstones post card so I shall definately be getting that finished (and started) some time this week.
I have also managed to avoid eating cheese at all costs - although I ate quite a lot of rubbish today because of the party. Damn those tasty jam tarts

Friday, 30 May 2008

Time to shape up

I'm feeling really really crap today. Tired and headachy. I know this is down to my lack of exercise and poor diet. Sooo... I have decided to give up cheese. Hey if Johnny Vegas can do it so can I - not that I look like him but If I'm not careful I will by the time I'm his age. As soon as my dodgy tan lines have gone I'll be heading to the local swimming pool to get fit as well. My lovely boyfriend got a free ipod shuffle which he kindly gave to me so I think I'll get running too!Hopefully I'll start to feel a bit better and I can focus on other things a lot more like my job and my writing. I still haven't done much in the way of writing this week. I'm stuck in yet another slump. Good news is that I received the OK for my edited version of my short story for the 5-piece photo comp so hopefully I'l be seeing that in print in the Autumn.

Monday, 26 May 2008

Home Sweet Home

I'm back after my week's holiday in Gran Canaria. Apart from having my phone stolen and being badly burnt all over, the holiday was lovely. I am glad to be home but I could do with not having to go back to work in the morning. My spare time tomorrow will definately be spent getting back to the world of writing. I've not done a thing in over a week. I have been receiving some good feedback from some short story competitions I entered. I haven't placed in any so far but I have heard back from the ones I entered and its been positive feedback. ACW wrote to tell me I hadn't won but that I had made it into the top 300 out of 2000 entries. I was pleased with that as it was a story I had written when I was studying English A Level. I don't normally write children's stories but had thought that suited what the competion was looking for. They also offered me a £15 discount for a writing course. Ummm a bit of a ploy me thinks so I shall say no to that for now.
I am leaving the novel for a week just while I am working on an idea for my Waterstones Postcard. I'm still not inspired so I think I will just start and see what order my fingers hit the keys in.
Thats it for me, just wanted to say Hi and hope everyone is well. Must go and watch Britain's got Talent!

Thursday, 15 May 2008

What's Your Story?

Waterstones are running a short story competition to celebrate the National Year of Reading. This competition gives writers the chance to be published alongside some of the world's greatest authors and even win an Arvon Writing Course. It doesnt matter what you write as long as it fits their story card. Their favourite stories will get published online and three winners stories will be chosen to go into a postcard book - all proceeds of which go to Dyslexia Action and English PEN. All entries must be in before 19th June 2008 so click here now and get creating.

Wednesday, 14 May 2008

How much help is too much?

I only managed 395 words words on my novel today as I have spent the best part of this evening looking over the editor's changes to my short story that I submitted for an anthology a while back. While I am happy with most of the changes that have been made I do wonder at what point I can no longer call it my story. A few minor omissions have been made to characters and dialogue. The northern dialect has been taken away, a history between two of the characters created and a slight change to the end. Whilst I am more than happy and agree with all changes (apart from the ending) I do fear that I would be agreeing to too much. Would it still be my story? I know the ideas, the characters and a fair bit of the original story are mine, but can I still agree to put my name to it without feeling like a fraud?

Tuesday, 13 May 2008

On a role

I have managed to stay out of holiday mode long enough today to write 590 words - this is pretty good considering the only chance I have had today is my lunch break which got cut short due to an annoying client and the last 20 mins as I have been watching the F Word with my boyfriend. Yes I deserve a wrist slap but its a great show and I love Gordon Ramsey and my boyfriend of course. Anyway, that's over double the amount I did yesterday. I figure if I keep this up I can possibly manage 2,000 words just this week alone, and then I can really enjoy my holiday. Fingers crossed (well not while I am typing obviously).

231 Words!!

I managed 231 words of my novel yesterday. At this rate I will have to pass this book to my grandchildren to finish in my honour! I shall try and manage at least double that when I get home from work. Anything is better than nothing I keep telling myself.

Monday, 12 May 2008

In holiday mode

I am off on holiday next week which is good, however, I cannot concentrate on anything. I cant think about anything else. I am already sipping cocktails by the pool and not having a care in the world. I need to concentrate. I need some focus. I am setting myself a goal and I am going to stick to it. I will be writing something every day and I will be blogging about it. I dont want to make it a chore but its for my own good. I know I will feel better for it once I get going.

Sunday, 4 May 2008

The Y's and wherefores of proper planning

I've heard a few people mention using YWriter and I have been meaning to download it for a while now. Today I finally got around to doing it and so I have spent the last 30 mins getting to grips with it. If anyone has any hints/tips for making the most of it I would be truly grateful if you can share them with me. It looks like it will be useful in organising my novel and for slotting things in here and there. I have just started setting up my character bios/goals/pics etc. I had previously started this in excel but it didn't really have the desired effect I wanted. Now I will have everything under one roof.

Aside from my novel I haven't done any other writing. I am thinking of setting up another blog though. It is writing related but more to do with mind,body and spirit - something I am also very passionate about but don't really get time to indulge in. I'll keep you posted on that as I haven't thought it through enough to start yet and I certainly wouldn't want to spend less time here because of it.

Saturday, 3 May 2008

Getting ready for Summer (if we get one)

Today I went and bought sun loungers (£15 from Asda - not to shabby either) and a bbq for the garden. I really hope they get some use this year. I also bought some new sunglasses to replace the last pair after I sat on them. Hopefully they will get more than one wear out of them. BBC have forecast rain this coming Sunday and Monday. Please someone tell me they are wrong!!

Tuesday, 29 April 2008

Why do you want to be a Journalist?

Well thats just it I don't. But I did. Or at least I thought I did, that is, until someone I worked with asked me 'Why do you want to be a Journalist?'. My answer plain and simple was 'Because I love to write'.
'Then why don't you be a writer' she spat back at me. If my answer had been something along the lines of 'Because I'm interested in people' then I probably wouldn't be here writing this now. I went away from that conversation feeling deflated. Every bit of effort towards a career in News Reporting was a waste of time I thought. Maybe it was but it made me realise that 'Why don't I become a writer? Why the hell not? I love to tell stories and I love to share them so that is what I am going to do.

Thursday, 24 April 2008

My Character has a Cat!


Today was the first day where I had nothing to do during my lunch break. No errands to run, no money to buy things in the shops with, no emails to check, websites to search....Not a thing. So... it hit me...DO SOME WORK ON YOUR NOVEL YOU LAZY... and we'll leave it there. I couldn't think of where to start as I have sort of written a mini version of Confidence in Me and its now just a case of padding it out with ALOT of padding. So I thought I would give my character her own cat. Its a bit of a cliché I know but why not. I've always wanted one but can't (house rules) so there's no sense in us both being miserable. Anyway I have called my cat Sparky (after the cat my family had as a child). I have linked the cat to her father who I had not mentioned in the story before now. I find that in most chiclit stories that I have read the father doesn't seem as prominent as the mother - something to think about me thinks.

Tuesday, 22 April 2008

Back to London


I went back to work today after my long weekend spent in Devon. Plymouth was where I spent most of my childood. As I showed my boyfriend around for the first time I never quite realised how beautiful Plymouth is. I lived there for 15 years before I moved to London and its amazing how much I took it for granted. Sights such as the Plymouth Hoe where you can see Smeatons Tower, overlooking the open air pool. This is also where Sir Frances Drake played Bowls in the 1500s and where the Beatles filmed part of the Magical Mystery Tour. There's the Barbican where you can walk the cobbled streets surrounded by quaint little shops. Mind when you fall out of the Maritime Pub drunk though, its a bit tricky. I felt a sense of pride while I was there. I also never realised how nautical it is. I knew it was a Naval town as we moved there because my Dad was in the Navy but it didn't impact on me quite as much as it did when we went this weekend. I'm looking forward to my next visit and doing all of the things I didn't do in the 15 years that I lived there.
I definately think I will use it as a setting for any future stories and I won't ever take for granted the history that is on my doorstep.

Thursday, 17 April 2008

6 Word Memoir

I've been tagged by the very wonderful Karen. I have to choose six words that describe me.
I didn't ask anyone what they thought as I'm told on a daily basis what people think of me. Sometimes good sometimes bad, heres a mesh of what I think and what I've been told:

I am…

1) honest
2) Loyal
3) weird
4) impatient
5) Scatty
6) paranoid

I shall tag A. Writer, Cal, Emerging Writer and Sarah g

Making some time for me... and how to write like Carrie Bradshaw.... sort of

Ok so I am over my little episode. I have my new phone and my dust caps which are still attached the car as far as I am aware.

I have been really tired of late, I mean exhausted which is odd because I dont really do much. I have booked Monday off so I am going to chillax to the max all this weekend and use Monday to work on finishing my short story for the first line comp. I have decided not to add too much more to it as it already has quite a big build up and a huge ooooohhhh!!!. I just need one other person to read it and then can tidy it up and get it sent off. I haven't seen any other competitions which I'd like to enter to I will be able to concentrate 100% on Confidence in Me.

I have also booked my holiday. I am off to Gran Canaria for a week in May with my boyf so I can see some light and the end of the tunnel FINALLY!

Also, on another note I have noticed that 'how to write like Carrie Bradshaw' has been entered into the search engine a few times which is linking people to my page. Its a shame I am not actually offering that sort of advice. How about this:

-start all of your articles with a question
- write about relationships and sex
-live in New York
-have unlit cigarette in mouth constantly - or nicotine patch on arm
-have laptop
-wear a vest without bra quite a lot
- have a shoe addiction

Hope that was informative enough (sorry I had to improvise a bit towards the end)

Sunday, 13 April 2008

I'm not a stress head, honest

Just a quick catch up as its been a busy couple of days and I have had no time to blog. I have also been quite mardy and wouldn't wanna take it out on my writing:

Thursday: I had an Indian Head Massage from a friend who is training in alternative therapies. It worked wonders (for a little while)

Friday day: any of the tension that was taken away the previous night by my head massage was firmly instilled by the ever so (un)helpful staff at a Vodafone call centre. I am at present still waiting for my new mobile phone. Aaarggh it annoys me just thinking about it.
I couldn't find The House at Midnight by Lucie Whitehouse. I'll have a look in Waterstones today while I am out. Until then I'm reading Sushi for Beginners by Marian Keyes.

Friday Evening: Went to see KT Tunstall - ah, the tension did slowly leave me for a little while
Saturday: who the f??? steals dust caps???? I mean come on who does that!

Sunday: Off to Halfords today. They will cost me £1.50 for a pack of 5 dust caps. I think I will get them all alarmed!!!!

Wednesday, 9 April 2008

I am such a Luddite!!

This is because I am rubbish at all things blogger but with the help of A.Writer and blogging for dummies I think I am finally getting the hang of it. Hopefully if I come across any cool new things I'l actually be able to add them instead of spending an hour trying and then giving up!

Oh and on the subject of this post I still havent heard anything back. Its starting to bug me now. I hope I havent jinxed it.

It have also finished My Booky Wook so I am going to take Karen's recommendation and read The House at Midnight, by Lucie Whitehouse

Tuesday, 8 April 2008

Early Post

Not much to say today as its still only .5 way through the day. I thought it best to get blog post done so I dont faff around on it later. Boyfriend is off to the football tonight so I have the whole evening and no excuses. I WILL WRITE SOMETHING. I picked up from where I left off on my first line short story last night. Ive written just over 400 words (its beween 300-3000). I like what I've written. Its a sad piece and when I read it through last night I did get a tear in my eye, which is good because I wrote it. I love a good old weepy so I know exactly what it needs to be heartbreaking but I don't know whether I have enough. I think its time to let my no.1 critiquer read it.

On another note I only have one more chapter of My Booky Wook left. Aaaaaghhh now what am I going snuggle up with at bedtime. Can some please recommend a good book???

Monday, 7 April 2008

Christmas came early or late as the case maybe

It was Christmas Day at our house this weekend as my brother came to visit laden with Christmas presents. He hadn't managed to leave Devon to visit us in London due to work commitments but he made it this weekend for a 'bit of a do' as it was 30th birthday as well. It was a good gathering with all the family + other halves - the BAGS I called them (boyfriend and girlfriends - no they weren't that impressed either). I spent the best part of the night trying to work out this wine in a cage puzzle. What I lacked in skill I certainly made up for in tenacity as I finally managed to free the bottle (30 mintues later - my dad did this in 30, seconds that is!) I could not, however, muster up any further patience to get it back in again. Subsequently I didnt get much work done, but I did have a little think about doing some. Unfortunately that's as far as I got with that but I do have a clean bathroom now. I have a free evening tomorrow so I will pull my finger out and do some writing.

Thursday, 3 April 2008

Courtesy of A. Writer's blog

If Your Life was a Movie....

...What would the soundtrack be??

So, here's how it works:
1. Open your library (iTunes, Winamp, Media Player, iPod, etc)
2. Put it on shuffle
3. Press play
4. For every question, type the song that's playing
5. When you go to a new question, press the next button
6. Don't lie and try to pretend you're cool...because your not!
7. Stick the soundtrack on your mp3 player and listen away during the day.

Opening Credits: People should smile more by Newton Faulkner
Waking Up: Everlasting love by Jamie Cullum (thatll be my love of sleep then!)
First Day At School: The Way I are by Timberland
Falling In Love: Apologise by One Republic/Timberland (tell me about it)
Fight Song: The Scientist by Avril Lavign (her version of Coldplay's song)
Breaking Up: Autumn by Paolo Nutini
Prom/Dance/Ball: Ticket to Ride by the Beatles
Life's OK: Shame for You by Lily Allen
Mental Breakdown: If Only by KT Tunstall (not quite what that's supposed to mean
Flashback: Take what you Take by Lily Allen
Getting Back Together: Let me talk to you by Justin Timberlake
Birth of Child: Feels like home by Newton Faulkner
Wedding: Wildwood Flower but Resse Witherspoon (walk the line)
Final Battle: Hey Jude by the Beatles
Funeral Song: Break it off by Rhiana
End Credits: I walk the Line by Joaquin Phoenix

Monday, 31 March 2008

Good news

I had some good news today which really cheered me up. I won't say what because I don't want to jinx it but it stopped me fearing the worst about my writing. I am brimming with confidence about it now. Hopefully I will hear more tomorrow and I can share my good news properly.
No other writing done since yesterday but I have a few evenings to myself this week in which I can get stuck in to my First Line short story entry. I had banned myself from writing short stories until I made some proper progress with my novel but that didn't work and all that happened was no writing at all. None at all. Thats not good.

Sunday, 30 March 2008

Finally I've written something

Its not much as I havent felt like writing much lately but I've entered a very short story competition which closes tomorrow. Lack of confidence, laziness - dont ask me why but I havent written anything in about a week. Today I remembered the text competition I posted about here and thought it would be a good place to start. I just sent it now. The phone didnt set itself to Turkish once which I was quite pleased about.

Sunday, 23 March 2008

You can do whatever you want

I like the sound of that. I'm feeling especially encouraged at the moment. I was lacking in confidence about my writing at the start of the week. I didnt make the grade in one of the short stories I entered which I accept is not easy to do as its the only result I have received for my short stories so far and I know there are vast amounts of entries but I read the short listed entries and made me wonder if I was any good. I've been reading My Booky Wook by Russell Brand. I cannot put it down. It keeps surprising me at every turn. Its the kind of book that makes you sit up and say 'fookin' 'ell i never knew that!' If you ever need that nudge or start doubting your abitilty to make something of yourself then take a leaf out of his book (apologies for the pun). It's a bloody good read.

Saturday, 15 March 2008

Another 1%

OK so today I have been working on my novel. The bar has gone up another 1% by way of written words but as I am reworking my chapters I find myself already in the stage where I am editing slightly. I know you are probably wondering why I am bragging over a measly 1% but I really am pleased I'm getting back into it - I left it untouched for very long time and I was starting to wonder whether I would ever go back to it let alone finish it.
I also made a major character change. Basically I'd had a conversation with my boss a while back and she made a remark that I really didn’t like but kinda made me laugh (in that its so irritating you have to laugh kind of way) so I wrote it down and knew it would be something a certain one of my characters would say. Anyway I worked it in today adding something very minor to it and it just changed a major part of the plot. Now my leading male character looks completely different and I like him, hes more of a hero than the last guy I had imagined, he was sweet but in comparison perhaps a bit too drippy. Not at all what my female lead needs.

I've also decided to take part in the Texting short story competition which I found on Sally Q's site. I just need to borrow a decent mobile to write it on as my space key keeps getting stuck and changing the language to Turkish every time I write a word! I'm still working on the novel but this is only a very short short story.

I'm off now to prepare myself for a night out with the family Hopefully I wont be too hungover to write tomorrow and I might even manage to get more than 1% progress made.

Friday, 14 March 2008

Time for a change and still procrastinating

I thought it was time for a change of blog, what do you think? I quite like this layout.
Now back to the writing. I've got a long long list of things to get though - changing my blog wasn't one of them so I dont expect much sympathy.

1.get novel up to at least 20%
2.finish short story for 1st line comp (which I wont let myself do until number 1 is finished)
4.practice for shorthand exam
5.read thought contract law notes.
3.clean house
6.remember all the other stuff i need to but am blocking it out until 1-5 have been completed

Sunday, 9 March 2008

Eenie weenie progress

OK so I've not really made the best use of my weekend. I didn't get a huge amount of writing done but I did make a start. I managed 1% which is pretty poor considering how far behind I am but I made a start so I'm pleased with myself.
I also finished 'Shopaholic and Baby' which was so funny. Becky Bloomwood still makes me laugh out loud on the bus. I have also started reading Russell Brand's autobiography. You can definately tell that no one else has written this but him. I'm only one chapter in but I can tell I'm going to enjoy it.
I also watched Atonement. This was such a great film. I prefered Keira Knightly in this film than any of her others. She suits the role in this film. And of course James McAvoy. I cannot fault him as an actor, although not sure about his American accent in his new flick Wanted. Looks like a good film though so I'll defininately be watching it.

Wednesday, 5 March 2008

Back to the Book

It's Wednesday. I have done no writing since the weekend. I'm getting a little antsy about it now. I spent all day yesterday in London learning all about the Law, 'I am the law' lol always wanted to say that. Very interesting it was. I'd say its not my first choice of career path but it's a career for me none the less, unless I end up like JK Rowling that is. I figure that whatever I do it in life be it exciting or just plain dull its always something I can turn into a good maybe even groundbreaking (I wish) piece of literature. Anyway its back to the novel for me tonight. I know I keep saying it but I mean it this time. Short stories are on hold until I get to at least 20%. Saying that I still have a law folder to work through, shorthand to practice, books to read, clothes to iron (yeah right!) You know the drill. No excuses though. The book will take precedence for the time being. You may not hear from me for a little while as I hang my head in shame at how behind I am compared to everyone else!