Monday, February 29, 2016

You know it, you really, really know it when...

You know you're a (mad) writer when...

  1. You make it your mission to find a spelling mistake in menu boards
  2. One rogue typo can utterly spoil an otherwise stellar facebook joke meme
  3. You get up at all hours of the night to write notes because if you don't you'll forget the brilliant idea that will elude you foreverafteramen
  4. Your friends think you live in a fantasy world and affectionately eye roll behind your back but still indulge your book speak (these friends are the good ones by the way). The other ones avoid you and cross the street to evade it
  5. You can't have too many pens or notebooks. Ever. Simple fact. It may even involve building extra space to house them
  6. You develop obsessions about emdashes, endashes and rogue tabs
  7. You get emotional when you find a new amazing blow you away writer because it matters THAT much
  8. Your family do the 'she's writing face' - it's the same face I pulled about Mum 'playing and or polishing her PIANO'
  9. You get 'writing' fixations (crushes, movie addictions, must have author stampedes at new book releases...the list goes on)
  10. You start blogging about being a mad writer and the extent of your obsession!

Monday, February 22, 2016

Ten Things I Love About Writing (Feeling The Love Here)

So here's ten random things I love most about writing. I'd go so far as say they give me the writing fuzzies. Especially because I write romance too -

  1. I get to meet fab like-minded writing friends and partake in tea and cyberfun and tips swapping. I love that this is good for my soul. And my laughter muscles.
  2. As above but add in the fact that this in itself enables me to discover fabulous new books written by these people. And the books are all the more special for it so I am in awe of my totally talented author friends. Yes!
  3. Procrastinating on the internet and social media is in the job description *kinda*. You gotta keep it current after all. Chatting and crazy can't be wrong can it?
  4. Even if I take time out to refill that well (and it happens) or just to have me time nobody actually minds. And in the spirit of being kind to myself, nor do I! Eventually the writing muse will yank me back Writers are supportive like that, period. We just accept and motivate and that's a very special thing.
  5. I get to gander at pics of men (whether that be in kilts or in black and white disrobement) and it's okay. Nobody minds and I can blame my author foibles. It's visual story-scaping you see. Move along and let me enjoy - in fact why not enjoy with me. The more the merrier.
  6. I get to listen to overheard conversations and justify it's for my job. I also get to daydream like crazy and deem it research. How many other jobs are that understanding? I do both a lot btw. A big holy fat truck of a lot!
  7. It's okay to have crushes. As a writer it's just part of the toolkit. Whether it's a movie actor or several or some BBC drama heroes even though I'm a forty something mum, nobody fusses. Because it's just work, helping me conjure up that magical novel man.
  8. The more I do it the better I get. I love this. The more I try something new the more I love writing too. And sometimes the harder a book is to write the more I stretch - kinda writing yoga. And I love that! Did I mention I love what I do with ardent passion?
  9. I can do it in jammies. Or a onesie. And with bad hair. Whilst eating or slurping smoothies. And I frequently do.
  10. I love that reading is as vital as writing and brings a beloved spin off hobby benefit two for one.

P.S. One Extra Likey. Blogging random stuff and retweets from lovely writing peeps. I really love those - retweet if you dare or agree or both. And remember - we all rock. Every single one of of us has the best job ever. Because we try!

#MondayBlogs #AmWriting

Monday, February 15, 2016

Inspiration, Poldark and Throwing Rule Books At Walls

I’m exploring what inspired me to get writing again after two years of zilch words. It wasn't about forcing myself behind the keyboard – the spark drove me to simply try putting one word in front of another. Almost against my will. To me daydreams and feeling the love are the precursors to finding a story and putting fingers to keys. So what things changed to make somebody who'd vowed no more to try...

Bring On The Poldark - The BBC's Poldark came along and many millions of other avid women watchers (and men plus me) fell deeply and dropped jaws at a certain Mr Turner. Not only because of the aesthetically obvious reason but because of its power. Demelza and the rest of the cast were so preciously, fittingly picked. Suffice to say I heart Poldark hugely. Enough to scotch last year’s writing drought by giving me the urge to write a fanfiction fest with the characters in my own story. Let’s just quietly admit the hero of my next release has collar length dark hair and a penetrating stare... If it fires you and it works, use it.

Senses Reunited - I’d been taking my youngest swimming at my old High School. It shocked me to find the place so changed yet unaltered. But it smelled exactly the same transporting me right back. That sensory hit made me itch to write a book set in school. So even though I’ve set it in a London Secondary my old school featured large. The return was more overwhelming than I’d banked on. But kinda like going home. Well, they say write what you know.

Toss The Rules - My biggest step was waving in the crazy and silly and mad without apology. For many years I targeted category contemporary romance, sticking to learned rules carefully. Last year I threw the book away. Comedy, banter, flights of fancy, full voice without apology and a full cast of accomplice characters. Liberating to take a total u-turn on how I used to write. And I found I loved doing this much more.

So in summary. Feel the love, dive into a world so real you can touch it and then toss the ideas of how it should be. Sounds trite but write from the heart - just try it out for size. Be vivid. Innovate. You don't have to show anybody what happens. But you just might. And you may well be glad you tried.  #MondayBlogs #Poldark #AmWriting

Monday, February 08, 2016

MondayBlogs - The Writer Who Didn't Write For Two Years

Three years ago after a routine surgery I got a surprise diagnosis of cancer, stage four. It knocked me into a strange state of numb shock followed by a period of retreat. :(

Retreat from life. From friends. And from writing. I didn't just have a block. I felt like I was a walking black hole and going back to my beloved serious hobby of writing would tip me over the edge of 'keeping the lid' on all my hurts. That was three  years ago. I slowly grew to see how incredibly lucky I was to have a cancer with a low enough grade (slow growing) to allow my stage four disease to be treatable. But that took time.

So this time last year (after two years in the black hole of no writing just reading) I surfaced and put fingers to keys. The result was a book that tumbled out at quite a rate. A departure book too for I'd been writing contemporary romance and this 'new me' turned to the hidden dream pursuit of romantic comedy! Maybe the funny part felt cathartic?

I'd realised that each day is a gift. And the writer in me was finally ready to re-emerge newly formed and keener than ever to just write for sheer joy. I don't think I will ever write the same. And that's a good thing.  At one stage I'd told people I wouldn't write again but adversity helped me find the right kind of writing. Romantic comedy was a dream that lurked because I lacked confidence. What I went through made me seize the day.

In summary - this post is about dreams and how much they matter. Writing what  you really love and what fires you deeply, counts most! The book that broke my writing drought will be released later this year. It helped me breakthrough in more ways than one. Laughter is medicine. Point proven.

#aftercancer #MondayBlogs #romcom #writing

Wednesday, February 03, 2016

Wish Wand Wednesday

It's been a while since I checked in but I promise to do better. In fact I aim to come in here and jazz things up a bit regularly.

So to kick off I have a new spot. Wish Wand Wednesday!

If you could design your dream romance book what would it be? The world is your lobster --- go on have a bash. Okay, I'll go first. I've long said I want to read a bigfoot tracking related romance. I crave dark nights and a hunky hero protecting me from the big hairy beast!!! And possibly knocking on trees and acting like a crazynut.

So - is yours a viking?? An astronaut? A kilted highlander from another age?

Or even a Michael Faasbender lookalikey astronaut viking highlander ready to take on Bigfoot?! Come to think of it, sign me up now. So what's your dream book? Tell me. I'd love to know.