Thursday, 29 October 2009

Novel ideas and shorties

I've had lots of ideas floating around my head this week - mostly when I'm half asleep on the bus in the morning - I really need to carry a notepad as my short term memory is is.... what's that word again?? Sorry lame joke! One idea I had was for a novel. An idea I like even more than the one I developed into a novel. It's just an idea for now with 3 characters in my head. I won't plan anymore unless anything else pops up from out of nowhere and with any luck I will have a notepad on me. I don't really want to start a new novel until I can commit to it properly and I've got one to rewrite already - but not until I start my writing course next month.

I've also been working on two short stories for the Heaven Can Wait short story competition. I won't say much as its all anonymous but they are both completely different styles and I like them equally. Problem is I can only submit one entry. So I'm going to work on both ideas and go with the favourite. I will definitely have to go with a 2nd opinion here. The original idea I was working on had was discarded after I was told the idea was a bit too familiar and Cally Taylor's advice here is not to go with the first idea you have, to write all your ideas and go for one of the final ones as they are less likely to be used by others.

Also, still enjoying the reading. I am really enjoying This Charmless Man. Some of it is quite hard to take - very intense and emotional, something I've not found from Marian Keyes before. I'm enjoying the read though and cannot put it down.

Monday, 26 October 2009

Getting my read on!

This is the current view of my beside table. 5 lovely books to be read over the next 5 weeks.

Yes, I was feeling a little taskless so I decided to set myself a challenge. I've hardly read any books this year so I've picked 5 books some old, some new, to read between now and December. I have:

1. This Charming Man by Marian Keyes I had started this once before putting it to one side to read Heaven Can wait and it was easy to get back into

2. The five people you meet in heaven by Mitch Albom Not my usual sort of read but the author was recommended so I'm looking forward to reading this

3. The starter marriage by Kate Harrison Also a recommended author

4. The Accidental Family by Rowan Coleman I LOVED The Accidental Wife and the prequel to this The Accidental Mother

5. Dear Fatty by Dawn French Other than reading Chick Lit I love to read autobiographies and I think Dawn French is just lovely and hilarious.

Saturday, 24 October 2009

Book Review: Heaven Can Wait by Cally Taylor

I held his face in my hands and kissed him back. I felt that life just couldn’t get any more perfect. I was right, it wouldn’t…..

'Lucy Brown is the happiest she’s ever been. She’s about to marry the man of her dreams – kind, handsome, witty Dan – and everything she’s always wanted is finally within her reach. But the night before her wedding Lucy has a fatal accident.
She is offered a choice: accept a lifetime’s separation from her soul mate to go to heaven or stay with Dan forever… and become a ghost. For Lucy, there is only one option – she will not leave Dan. But it turns out things aren’t quite as easy as that. If Lucy wants to become a ghost she has to find true love for a complete stranger…
And when she discovers that her so-called friend Anna is determined to make a move on the heartbroken, vulnerable Dan, the pressure really is on….'

I’ve been waiting for so long to read this book and I was so pleased once it arrived on my desk at work. I was actually excited to get into work in the morning, I must get more books delivered there!! I love Chick Lit be it writing or reading but this was different to those I had read before. It had a Supernatural spin to it. I love the idea of the unknown and ‘the other world’ so combined with my love of reading Chick Lit I already knew I would enjoy reading it. I have followed Cally’s blog since 2007 and have read her published short stories so I knew she was a great writer. My expectations were high and I was not disappointed!

I’ve never died (obviously) but I still really related to Lucy, which is why I couldn’t stop welling up and getting a lump in my throat when she described how much she misses Dan and laughing (and snorting like a pig – on the bus of all places) when she did and said silly things. Lucy is kind hearted, loyal and funny and that’s why she is a loveable character and you can’t help but care what happens to her. The emotions of the characters are conveyed well which helps us to sympathise with Lucy as well as other characters such as Dan and Archie and her 2 ‘undead’ housemates Claire and Brian.

The story is by no means predictable having me hooked at every turn of the page. The story develops well and has it all – humour, sadness, suspense and even a mean old biddie! I really enjoyed this book, reading it in just 3 days – that’s a record for me. I can’t wait for the next one!!

Cally Taylor’s debut novel ‘Heaven Can Wait’ is available here and at all other good book retailers.

Thursday, 22 October 2009

Read, read and read some more

Look what kept me company at the hairdressers.....

No not Peter Andre, it was Cally Taylor's new novel 'Heaven Can Wait'. As I was getting my new 'red do' I had my head stuck in the book for the entire time. I got the book on Tuesday and I have nearly finished. I have about 30 pages left (which I'm saving for bedtime reading) and I am loving it. I don't think I have EVER read a book so quickly, I just CANNOT put it down. I have no idea how this will end and I can't wait to find out! A real page turner. This is not my review by the way, will post a proper one at the weekend.

So anyway while I haven't been spotted all over town with my nose in a book I have been doing a bit of course searching. Today I rang The Writers Bureau, after I got some encouraging advice after my last post. They were sooo friendly and helpful and have helped me make my mind up. I have decided to enrol myself on The Novel and Short Story Writing Course. I am so excited to do this but will have to wait until December to enrol.

In the meantime I have set myself a little challenge for the month. I am going to read at least 5 books between now and December. Not sure which ones yet but will post them next time. I know it doesn't sound a lot (or does it?) but a friend told me she has read at least 100 books this year!! I haven't even read 10!! I watch way too much TV, most of which is repeats and predictable shite. There are some amazing stories out there from what I hear about at work (I'm constantly left out of the reading club - my own fault though!) and I'm missing out on them. So, I'm looking forward to selecting the books and letting you know!

ps - yes my head is hanging in shame as I have Peter Andre The Next Chapter on in the backgroung :S

Sunday, 18 October 2009

Back home, Heaven Can Wait and a little advice needed

I 'm back! I had a lovely week of lunching, sunbathing, shopping and spending time with my mum and sister in Cyprus. My batteries are recharged and I am raring to go. Well almost. I am not looking forward to dragging myself out of my toasty bed in the morning. I am however looking forward to getting back to the writing. I made a bit of a start on the rewrite for CIM, couldn't resist but then I started to relax and leave it well alone, just so I could enjoy my week off and let my brain switch rest for a bit. I have made a start (only in my head) on a shortie for this short story competition which celebrates the release of Cally Taylor's debut novel Heaven Can Wait.

I've heard great things about this novel so far and cannot wait to get reading my copy once it arrives and of course posting a review.

With regards to the writing course I'm a little annoyed as I haven't received a single reply from either of the two creative writing tutors I emailed before my holiday. I'm seeing this as a sign of things to come and am leaning a lot further to The Writers Bureau Course. I know some of you have done this but I'd be interested what courses you took as there are quite a few. I'm thinking either this one or this one? I could really use some advice/recommendations.

Anyway, I am off to watch The Last King of Scotland again. 2 great male leads - great great film!

Monday, 12 October 2009


Hello everybody peeps.

Sorry I've not blogged sooner, I spent a couple of hours yesterday catching up on all your great blogs and well there was drinking to be done, sun bathing etc etc.

Well I am baking hot here in Cyprus, and it was only a couple of days ago that I was moaning that is was too cold as I sat shivering under my duvet. Me and my mum have been to the beach today and we are wiped out. It's strangely tiring doing nothing, I had a doze on the beach and I'm convinced I'm a sleep jogger because I was still knackered when I woke up. We arrived quite late Friday night, picked up by my sister at the airport and came back to a fridge full of cider and a halloumi pie, yummy it was too. Saturday we went to Paralimni town for a walk around the shops which were shut due to half day closing but still a nice walk. We went to Sensos Café for Frappés which gave me the shakes as I usually only have half of a half teaspoon of coffee. Tasted lovely but clearly too strong as the heart palpatations indicated. Saturday evening we stayed in with a bottle of Aphrodite and watched Blowdry (blowj*b as my mum thought it was called!!) - a film starring Josh Hartnett doing the worst northern accent I have EVER heard and considering he played a barber the worst haircut too. I have seen this before but it was for research purposes as one of my characters in the novel is a hairdresser. This means watching Cutting It over and over again and going for my 2nd visit to the hairdressers in a month! It's a hard life (I knew I would enjoy the research side of things).
Yesterday we had a walk around Protaras and had lunch in the Friends Bar (where they play random episodes of Friends - I thought I'd died and gone to heaven) where we met with my sister. Then it was back out in the evening to watch the x-factor. I know I couldn't resist. I had missed the saturday night show after all but there's always You Tube. Also, very sad to hear about Stephen Gately, 33 is no age and he was always my favourite of the group, so was very shocked to hear the news).

Also, as I was a bit zoned out when writing my last post but I just wanted to say a massive THANK YOU to everyone who gave me loads of encourage this last few months. It really spurred me on to know I had support from so many people, so well done to you all for being so great as well!!

Right well I shall get back to the big Chill, just reading This Charming Man by Marian Keyes. I'm not 'hooked' yet but I'm not that far into in yet so I'm having faith, I really like her books after all.

Thursday, 8 October 2009


2 years 6 months later and the first draft is complete. My final word count is 78,760, not quite the 80,000 I was going for but the final scenes are written and I am more than happy with it. I'm letting it hibernate until the new year, just enough time for the elves to break into my computer and raise it to book shelf standards! There is research to be done, courses to be taken (if the tutors ever bother to email me back!) so its not finished by a long way but I am ready to let someone else read it and that's a big thing for me.

S0 that's it for me and the novel for a while, we are officially on Sabbatical and will reunite in the new year. I'm looking forward to reading, writing shorties, commenting and blogging more over the next few months. But for this next week I am looking forward to sleeping, eating, drinking and just generally chilling out.

See you in Cyprus! (where I hope I can connect and blog lots!!)

Sunday, 4 October 2009

Still not finished yet!

Well, unfortunately I am not yet gracing the end stages of my novel just yet but I am getting there steadily. My current word count stands at 77823 and as I have a fair few scenes to put in I reckon I'll be exceeding the 80,000 word target. I've got until Thursday to finish and then I shall be leaving it to rest while the new year.

Enough of banging that same ol' drum, I'm sure your just thinking hurry up and finish already (I know I am) so I'm preparing for when I do finish. I emailed a couple of tutors at my local college in Richmond Upon Thames (RACC) about some courses I have found. One is The Hero's Journey and the other is Developing your Novel. Not quite sure which one would be best so I'll hopefully get a response on that soon (I'm rooting for the cheaper option!).

In non writing relating news I went to Wimbledon dogs on Friday night and had a great night. My first EVER bet and I won £74!! How jammy am I. I didn't win a thing after that but I still managed to have a free night out.

Last night I went with boyf and my parents to see Michael McIntyre at Wembley Arena. We had great seats (not too close to get picked on) and he was hilarious. There were a few crude jokes in there that I didn't think were his style but they had me crying with laughter.

Right, I'm off now as its back to work tomorrow :( and after that hectic weekend I am pooped!