Is It Friday Already?

Boom! Shake – shake – shake the room! Where did this week go? Sorry for bringing the DJ Jazzy Jeff ear-worm out to play (I bet you can’t get rid of it now…. apologies). So this week…..did it really fly? Perhaps it was my time spent up in the clouds that prompted today’s post (have a look at my lovely photo)

I found myself quite literally blue sky thinking …see what I did there? You would think a smooth flight, time on my hands, me, a captive audience of one would provide ample opportunities for those words to flow.. eh.. No. As Dr Seuss so skilfully put it ‘Oh the things you can think’. Therein lies my problem – too much thinking! Whether it was the recycled air or the lack of adequate leg room I’m not sure, but thoughts raced through my mind at the speed of… well, the speed of Concorde (yes, I’m old enough to remember Concorde). Ideas whizzed around my head so quickly they didn’t stop long enough for me to capture them. A good problem to have. Usually, staring out of an airplane window results in, well…just staring.

So, why am I telling you this? Yes, why indeed. Because sometimes, it’s OK. It’s OK not to capture every idea, every phrase. It’s OK to let the heat escape out of the roof. By allowing my ideas to come and go I felt I was just allowing myself to think in no particular way, about no particular thing, and do you know what? I felt more refreshed stepping off that plane than I had done in ages. Some people call it daydreaming, perhaps it was. What it wasn’t was planned, focused or structured!

It’s now Friday, my to-do list has grown and I haven’t written very much at all this week, but that’s alright, tomorrow is just around the corner. As if DJ Jazzy Jeff wasn’t bad enough, I shall leave you thinking about those immortal lines from Pharrell Williams:

Clap along if you feel like a room without a roof

Because I’m happy

Movin on Up ~ Driving Your Story Forward

    We have all been there haven’t we? You are merrily munching your way through the first few chapters of a book that has sat on your TBR pile for a while and then it hits you…. boredom! Yep, mind numbing ‘I’d rather be anywhere but here’ boredom. Like a beautiful car which has been filled with the wrong fuel, the story splutters and then comes to a grinding halt. I have kicked myself so many times for playing the martyr and plowing through to the bitter end only to kick myself a bit more for even bothering to finish it. On reflection what a lot of these books had in common was simple – a soggy middle. At the beginning I’m intrigued, the writing is good and has me turning the pages with glee and then, somewhere, somehow, the tension is lost and the story becomes like a slow moving stream, no I correct myself more like a stagnant pond! Nothing is moving, the characters are not under any sort of pressure to do anything or see anyone, they are just… well they are just there! I don’t know about you but I don’t want ‘just there’ when I’m reading a novel, I can watch TV for that. I want empathy and commitment, as much from the characters as from myself. Commitment comes from making decisions, if nothing is happening no commitments are being made. All of this equals boredom for me, the reader. Don’t get me wrong I am not proposing that there should be twists and turns on every page but the story does need to move forward. Sadly this vacation I have read two such books.

     Sitting here in the Mallorcan sun (photos to follow), I am struck by how important and methodical the editing process needs to be. I don’t want my books to be considered boring and I definitely don’t want a soggy middle! I am the first to admit I write too many words sometimes. Which is why I need to be strong and robust (like a good cup of coffee) when it comes to editing my own work way before an editor gets sight of it.

    I’m sitting poolside trawling my way through the draft of my next novel and three things strike me:

    – Who the hell wrote this?

    – Oh, that’s rather good 

    – What a load of tosh!

    It’s the ‘what a load of tosh’ that is bothersome. These are the sections where I need to channel a high court judge and become harsh but fair! Sometime the ‘tosh’ can be salvaged, sometime not. If there is a meaningful reason for the words to be there I will play around with them. If, however, they are acting as fillers for the main act then they have to go. No ifs, no buts, they must be crossed through with a red pen never to be seen again.

    I have asked myself the same question over and over today – what would happen if the words weren’t there? If I can not defend them then they have to go !

    I am doing well arguing with myself, although the lure of the pool is proving powerful! One more chapter then time for a swim….

    Life in the Fast Lane…

    I know, I know. I have been a bit neglectful of you lovely people recently. I wholeheartedly apologise. I feel as if I have been living in the fast lane but without the F1 shizzle that goes with it!
    In a nutshell, and hopefully without boring you beautiful folks, here’s how I’ve been keeping out of trouble:

    I have been watching some of this…..

    Visiting universities…

    Found a few of these bad boys… yep in a field! Who would have thought it?

    And as if that was not enough, I have been getting stuck in lots of traffic, Devon style 

     

    So, there you have it my friends, I blinked and missed most of September and some of October. In addition, I have been editing ’til my heart’s content. The finishing touches are being added to my collection of short stories and my historical fiction novel is…well, let’s just say I am investing in some new red pens! I promise to get my groove back shortly and will be boring you all silly with my random posts.. Until then enjoy lots and lots of this…..

    What have you guys been up to? Please leave a comment below…

    Photo by Brigitte Thom courtesy of Unsplash

     

    Wednesday Spotlight ~ The Life We Lead: Ascending by George M. Nagle

    It gives me great pleasure to introduce a fellow member of Mystery Authors International George M. Nagle. Welcome George! If you like a good mystery with a dose of romance then read on…..

    NF: I hear you have a new book soon to be released? How exciting! Can you tell us a bit about it?

    GN:  The Life We Lead: Ascending is just the first in a series of what should be three books. At 425 pages, it is the shortest of the series and really the introduction to James, the group, Carissa and a whole cast of others. The Life We Lead follows James, the main character as he battles criminal syndicates while trying to have a normal life.  It is inspired by real-life events, however, names, places, timelines and such have all been altered.  This story has been 25 years in the making and certainly won’t disappoint with an incredible ending to the series.  It is based on the reality of spying, so the far-fetched gadgets and such like those found in James Bond won’t be appearing. It is a spy novel has lots of twists and turns that can make you laugh, cry, feel the characters outrage and even love.  The subtitle of the book is a clue to why it ends where it does too.

    NF: Wow, it sounds right up my street. 25 years is a long time, that’s a lot of research! Can you tell us a bit about the story?

    GN: The DEA, FBI, and CIA have failed for years to bring down the Spara family, who control the world’s largest drug cartel. A secret society of spies whose members are under the age of 25 will try to succeed where the government has failed.At only 21 years old, James is the most skillful member of this society. His new target is the Spara family. Through their relationship with Russia, the

    At only 21 years old, James is the most skillful member of this society. His new target is the Spara family. Through their relationship with Russia, the Sparas are the largest distributor of heroin in the world.  While beginning his investigation in Russia, James inadvertently saves the life of a former KBG officer who has a connection to the Tan family. This connection leads James farther into the heart of the criminal cartel.  However, the Tans have a dark secret of their own, which could jeopardize James’s perfect record and his tenure as a spy as he struggles to do what is right while protecting his family, friends and the love of his life.

     

    George has kindly allowed me to give you a taste of ‘The Life We Lead: Ascending’ ~

    Excerpt from Chapter 03

    [context:  James and Daen capture Nikolias after Petior has been abducted.]

    “You are our prisoner, but you are a captive of whatever group you…” Daen began, but Nikolias cut him off.

    “What makes you think I want to leave?” growled Nikolias.

    “When you help us, your bosses will not be too happy with you. You and your cousin will need to leave to survive,” replied Daen.

    “So he says,” Nikolias said curtly, with a head gesture towards James.

    “What did he say? Why did he just do that?” asked James.

    “Sounds like he doesn’t feel the need for our help. It seems he doesn’t want to, or have a reason to leave,” Daen replied, a puzzled look on his face.

    “I am no traitor, and I will die to help our fraternity and country. I am loyal and believe in things, unlike you American dogs,” Nikolias stated in English.

    James bowed his head, closed his eyes, and rubbed his left temple for a moment with his left hand. He dragged it down his face before speaking again.

    “Okay, tell us what the fraternity’s cause is. What’s so special about it that you’re willing to risk your life, your cousin’s life, because someone felt I disrespected them near a train?” asked James.

    Nikolias laughed. “We know you’re looking for drugs. You feel drugs are not disrespectful and destroying. You think we do not know that is why you are here? We see you peoples, and how you treat us. You all deserve death for your exploits on us, and our children.”

    NF: Thank you so much for joining me today George, it has been a real pleasure. If you too have been taken by ‘A Life We Lead: Ascending’ then grab yourself a copy – It will be released on September 26th in all versions. Buy links are below. Here’s wishing you every success.

    Check out this trailer for The Life We Lead: Ascending YOUTUBE

    About the Author:

    George is the 3rd of 6 children and grew up in western Pennsylvania. He earned his BS in Biology from the University of Pittsburgh, his MSc in Biology and his MBA in Marketing and Management from Duquesne University. He is also a Master 5th degree black belt in the art of Taekwondo with Young Brothers in Pittsburgh. He currently in a global marketing and strategy professional in science industries. He also has one son, Matthew.

    To connect with George Nagle: Website  Facebook  Twitter  Amazon Author Page  Goodreads Author Page  Smashwords Author Page

     

     

     

     

    Getting Your Head Down Whilst Keeping it in The Clouds

    There comes a time in every writer’s life when all good things must come to an end right? Ah, I see I have your attention ……

    I’m talking about editing the beast of a novel I have just completed. Hold on, did I say completed?? Yes, yes I did. Since completion, I have randomly danced around the house teaching my dog 1980s dance moves and spontaneously burst into song. All done much to the embarrassment of above my kids. I have taken myself and above-mentioned hound on long bracing walks and eaten my weight in chocolate. I am soooo rock and roll.

    Whilst one major milestone has been uncoupled, another has landed firmly in its place.This one is bright red and has the word ‘EDIT‘ written in big bold scary letters.This time I have decided on a different approach to the ‘E’ word. I have parked feeling overwhelmed and underprepared. I have ditched worrying about cutting too much or too little. I have adopted a different mind set.

    In business, there is often talk of improving by 1%. Here’s the concept. Sir David Brailsford – coach to the British Cycling Team believes in a concept called “the aggregation of marginal gains”. He explains it as “the 1% margin for improvement in everything you do”. His belief is that if you improved every area related to cycling by just 1%, then those small gains will add up to remarkable improvement. The British Cycling Team went from winning nothing to winning everything including the Tour de France. Now I am not suggesting I ride a bike, although lord knows I should after my calorific dalliance with cocoa based confectionery. No, I am going to adopt the 1% marginal gains principals for my editing.

    The cyclists started by optimising things that were easy to improve. They changed their seats or improved their tyres that sort of thing. For me, that translated to checking my grammar and punctuation. The stuff I would ordinarily do,  but my aim was to do it better. Are you with me so far? OK, next the cyclists looked at the small insignificant things. Things that were over looked that nobody really noticed. They looked at things such as the pillows in hotel rooms, were they comfortable enough to aid restful sleep? So how could I apply this to my writing? What were the small things I had overlooked that could be tweaked and improved? I had to be brutally honest with myself. Was every word needed? If I could answer yes immediately I left it alone. If however, the answer I gave was more wishy washy then I applied further pressure.

    Here’s an example. Adverbs. Oh, I love them! I know I love them and I know I use them excessively. Here’s what I mean. Consider this sentence:

    ‘Anna ran quickly across the car park, she looked back fearfully’.

    Now whilst there is nothing wrong per-say it could be better, way better. In its current form, it is bulky and clumsy. Now compare it to this:

    ‘Anna ran across the car park, fear biting at her back’.

    I ditched the adverbs, the result is a much punchier sentence. My 1% was staring me in the face with a wicked ‘I told you so’ grin.

    Two days in and I am happy to report the editing is going well. I have settled into a new routine and I may even have time to go for a out for a bike ride!

     

    Photo by Nikki Varkevisser Available at Flickr

     

    Book 4

    Now then you lovely ones, whilst you lot have been busy sunning yourselves I have been chipping away at the iceberg that is book 4. I am pleased to report progress is good. Book 4 is turning into a beaut. I’m over 70,000 words and estimate another 20,000 and I’ll be finished. Slashing and burning comes next (no it’s not a horror story), courtesy of a rather large red pen. Standing as judge and jury as each word fights for its right to be included is my least favourite part of the writing process. My approach of ‘harsh but fair’  should serve me well as I critically eye each phrase, each beat. Yes, these are fine words, the reality my friends is less so. Thing is, I’m a big softy. Each word will have me fighting for it too easily. The game of ‘keep or kill’ is never easy. It may take me some time, perhaps years, don’t hold your breath!

    A quick glance backward confirms this has been my most challenging adventure to date. Let me explain, book 4 is a historical thriller. And your point is what? I hear you ask. I have never written anything vaguely historical unless you count writing about the 1980s in which case I’m an expert! Thrillers are my bag but not historical ones… yet. I have found a new appreciation for authors who write in this genre. In my small Devonshire world, I have elevated them to Godlike status. The sheer amount of research and tenacity needed is overwhelming. Book 4 has been a fascinating and exhausting experience.

    It is set in 1912, a period of time which until recently I knew very little about. I had given up studying history at 16. My class had been too busy obsessing about the Tudors to pay any attention to something only a hundred years ago. As my protagonist kept piling on the pressure (‘are you going to write this book then or what? type of thing), I cast my eyes heavenward and set to it. My wish was and still is that my novel would be able to conjure up a real sense of the time and the place in which it’s set. I want my readers to get under the skin of the protagonist and use her eyes to see into her world. It is a world she has slowly been revealing to me. I had the story, a good plot and a very willful lead character, what I lacked was the historical accuracy. If I was serious about this book I had to do it justice. I  threw myself headlong into every piece of historical anything I could find from 1900 to 1920. I wanted to immerse myself. If it hadn’t been for my protagonist Virginia Penrose taking up residence in my head and refusing to leave I would still be clueless. If like me your knowledge of this time period is woefully light then take a leaf from my book (yes, deliberate pun intended) and read everything you can. It was a time of great change, a time when women had the courage to stand up for themselves. It hadn’t happened in isolation. The volcanic eruption that ensued had been bubbling away for centuries. My book is completely fictional, however, the time line is real. I have had to walk a delicate tightrope of marrying my ideas with the age in which they are set. Did people really think like that, what were the personal challenges, what were the expectations? I wanted to make it as realistic for the time as I could. Some things made the cut some did not.The joy has been watching not just my protagonist grow but also myself. Trying to get into the mind of a twenty something is never easy. Coupled with a backward time jump of over 100 years could be compared to how our younger generation of teens now views anyone older than 30. We have grown up in a different age, with different world views and collective opinions, some would say a different language too IMHO – see what I mean!

    I have felt privileged to have the magic of a new book birthed before my very eyes. The most surprising part has been the challenges it has thrown my way. I have been challenged to re think assumptions which I had held without care or consideration. I watched them crumble and fall as I realised they were incorrect. It has been wonderful. I hope before long I will be able to present book 4 to you, red pens and editors permitting.

    Now then what of book 3?

    Soaring ~ My collection of short stories is due later this year. It is bright and bold and would make a perfect Christmas gift. Christmas, did I mention Christmas? Shameless, absolutely shameless!

     

    Hashtags and Other Tales

    These days the humble # is found everywhere. Hashtags are a necessary part of marketing as any fun loving marketeer or PR guru will tell you. Started on Twitter their reach now extends across most media platforms.They can be used for fun, wider social or political issues or just because. Love them or loathe them they are here to stay. For authors, they can be a useful way of reaching a wider audience and potentially connecting with new readers. That is of course if you get it right.

    Having cast my eye over today’s trending offerings everything from #internationalbeerday to #FlashbackFriday is filling my twitter feed.So how as a rooky can you even come close to ‘trending’ or at the very least expand your audience? Here’s one thing I’ve learned about expanding your audience which I wanted to share with you. You need to know who the top influencers are in your field.Now, this is where it gets a bit sciencey so bear with me. Top influencers are those tweeters who have received the most impressions for a hashtag from their own tweets and the number of retweets they get. So how do you find them? Ah well… The easiest but also most expensive way is to pay someone to do it for you. Just type into Google ‘top influencers twitter’ and you will be presented with a wealth of companies offering you bespoke services. Or you could do what I did and do it the cheap way! Take a look a company called Klout who offer a free service. Klout allows you to share content and link you social media accounts to see how influential and engaging you have been on social media. Using a fancy algorithm it then spits out your score of influence from 1 – 100. I got 49 so obviously I am not as engaging as I like to think and still have some way to go! What I really like about this app is it allows you to identify the top experts (influencers) in your field who you can choose to follow.You can also monitor how you’re doing via your ‘Klout Score’ which changes dependant on the aforesaid fancy algorithm. It’s a great way of expanding your audience and increasing your online presence.Until recently I had no idea such things existed but as all good indies know it takes a lot of hard graft to raise your wee small hand in the maddening crowd. Simples yes? I hope you too have found this small journey into the unknown helpful 🙂

    #It’sthesmallthings #EnjoyLife #AmWriting #NeverGiveUp #FridayThoughts

    D is for Dialogue ~ Keep it Real

    I like a good bit of dialogue, a bit of banter, a bit of he said she said but…. and it is a very big but (not mine, although mine is rather large and has 2 t’s) only in small doses! There I’ve said it. Dialogue that goes on for pages bores me and can slow the pace of a book no end. I do not profess to be an expert, I just know what I like. As a general rule three sentences are about right for me before the red mist descends. If you have a character who is angry or needs to speak for longer try to break it up either with another character cutting in or action. What’s their body language saying, are their arms flailing, is their face reddening? You get the idea. The point behind dialogue is to make it seem real.Now then, whilst we are on the subject of dialogue another pet hate of mine is name calling.You want your character to be believable, yes? So why continuously use their names? Here’s what I mean. Meet Alan. Alan works with Jan and has done for five years. Whenever Alan speaks to Jan this is what he sounds like:

    ‘Hi Jan, how was that restaurant last night?

    ‘Well Alan it was really nice’

    ‘ I’m glad to hear that Jan’

    ‘Yes Alan I would highly recommend it’

    AARRGGGGHHHHH…….. No, no,no,no,no. Unless you are writing comedy (in which case it is funny and reminiscent of Gavin & Stacey) do not do it – it is not real! It sounds wooden and flat and well… yuk! Remember, less is more. If in doubt speak it out (oh, I quite like that). If it doesn’t sound right to you think about how it’s going to sound to your readers.

    OK, so now we’ve sorted out Alan & Jan here’s a question for you – Do you need it? The dialogue that is. Is its presence warranted? As with all things bookish it has to have a reason to be there in the first place. So, with your hand on heart should it stay or should it go? To help you decide here are a few questions to ask before letting yourself lose with the scary red pen:

    1. Are you advancing the plot? By that I mean building suspense, revealing something new that was not known before. Well, are you?
    2. Are you introducing, revealing or changing your character’s relationships? In Forbidden Colours, Midori Yates talks about her family a lot. It was a way for me reveal the importance of her family. Dialogue is a great way to add depth to your character and reveal sides to them not yet seen or known.

    I hope you’ve enjoyed my take on dialogue. Here’s to dialogue being sharp and to the point – I know, I know, time to leave! Next week I shall take a look at small touches that can make a big difference to dialogue. D is also for dog and mine is biting at my heels wanting to go on an adventure. So, for now, I bid you adieu…

    Please feel free to comment and/or share  🙂 Have a great weekend people!

     

    FC Book and looking glass

    Saturday Spotlight on The Diabolic Shrimp.

    Good morning campers! My oh my, you are in for a treat today! I am very happy to introduce to you fellow author and founder of the website Diabolic Shrimp ~ Joshua Grant. Welcome Josh.

    NF ~ So without further ado….  We all want to know how on earth you came up with the name Diabolic Shrimp? It is a very unusual name for a website.. or in fact, for anything?

    JG ~ Well, my original name for the site wasn’t actually Diabolic Shrimp.  It was something totally different, but my friends thought it sounded dirty so I quickly changed it (haha!).  Diabolic Shrimp is my motivational joke for myself.  I had this idea of creating a community that empowers and encourages authors to help one another.  The Diabolic is for my diabolic plan to take over the world and get every author to one day join the site.  The Shrimp is because authors are the little guys who are weak all by themselves, but together in a group they’re pretty incredible.  That, and I just like shrimp and I wanted it to sound fun (and not dirty, haha

    NF ~ Never thought of myself as a shrimp before, but you are right, we are the little guys.What would you say is the ethos behind Diabolic Shrimp?

    JG ~ Ultimately, it’s all about helping people while also helping yourself.  I design everything on Diabolic Shrimp to invite people to support others while also gaining a benefit.  I’ve always had a personal need to serve people, and this is one of the places I think I can do it.

    NF ~ I agree the more we can do to help each other the better. So what sorts of things motivate you?

    JG ~ Making a difference has always motivated me.  I love to make people laugh so humor is always a motivator.  My mind is always spinning stories too, so making compelling tales to entertain people has always been a big push in my life.  Although, the chief driver in my life has been love.  Falling in love has always been my dream (and then falling in love again).  Food also motivates me too (honestly, I’ll do just about anything for a decent brownie).

    NF ~ Ahh yes, I think you would be hard pushed to find anything finer than a jolly good brownie… other than perhaps a good wine… but that’s just me! What inspires you to write?

    JG ~ Books, movies and video games are what really inspire me to write.  When I run out of a type of story that interests me, I decide to write something similar with a different twist.  Essentially, boredom drives my creativity.  I’m also a deep thinker and feeler, so I typically combine some genre (horror, sci-fi, fantasy) with a deep moral concept like hope in a hopeless situation and just go from there.  Occasionally I have weird dreams too that actually work their way into my work (my horror novel Pandora is actually partially based on a nightmare I had once

    NF ~ Horror and hope sounds like a good combination, your novel Pandora sounds intriguing. I see it has received some great reviews, can you tell us a bit about the book?

    Pandora is my first published book.  It’s the first of four horror novels in The Organization series (the others are coming soon). 

    In it, a cruise ship goes missing, re-emerging a week later transmitting a single word—Pandora—prompting a Special Forces team to investigate.  I’m kinda a big scaredy cat, so horror isn’t usually my thing, but I grew up loving creature features like Aliens, Resident Evil, and The Thing.  I wanted to create something that had a bunch of action, interesting creatures, hapless heroes, and a sense of claustrophobic dread like those movies and games.  Pandora fulfilled that and allowed me to address some deep moral struggles in the process.  I also love movies, books, and games that have twists, and Pandora was the perfect platform to add plenty of those.

    NF ~ I’m shortly going on a cruise, I’ll read Pandora when I come back I think! I love classic horror and this sounds right up my street. Can you tell us a bit about yourself Josh?

    I live next to the beautiful Rocky Mountains in the United States.  I’m constantly getting out and being active, but I’m also a huge movie and video game buff.  My least favorite food is peanut butter (which I hate with a passion).  I spend a lot of time working with elementary and middle school youth in a variety of environments.  I have a huge heart for serving kiddos, especially those that struggle with different issues in their life.  You’ll often find me getting friends and family together for laughs and zany fun, but I’m actually kind of an introvert deep down.  I like to go for walks by myself a lot and write a novel now and then.  I’ve also had a pretty out there life, having survived a flash flood, faced down several bears, and sailed a chunk of the ocean as first officer on a small ship.  Sadly, all the aforementioned bears ran from me when I stood up to them and didn’t battle me so I didn’t get a cool man scar like I hoped (but I survived the encounter so that’s much cooler)

    Josh Grant

    NF ~ The Rocky Mountains are on my bucket list, what a wonderful place to live and work. I admire you for working with kids, it can be so rewarding but so challenging too I would imagine. You must be very patient. Ok.. A flash flood, faced down several bears and been first officer on a small ship ????? I think there is a whole other blog post right there! What / who would you say are your biggest influences?

    JG ~ As far as my writing, Resident Evil, Aliens, The Thing, Final Fantasy, Star Wars, The Lord of the Rings, The Giver, and authors like S.D. Perry and Dean Koontz really inspired me to write.  In my personal life, people like Martin Luther King Jr. and Elon Musk have inspired me to work hard with a deeper moral purpose.  God is always a central part of my life in everything I do.  And one of the most surprising sources of influence in my life is actually the kids I work with.  They’re actually very uplifting and make me be the best person I can be.  They’ll also be blatantly honest which is sometimes useful.

    NF ~ Yes, kids will always tell you it as it is, no sugar coating required. What are you currently working on?

    JG ~ I’m currently hard at work polishing up the rough draft of Jericho (the second book in The Organization series).  I’m really enjoying it, but it still needs a lot of work since it’s very complicated on the emotional side of things.  I hope to get started soon on Silly Tales from Albanon, my funny collection of unrelated fantasy stories that all build toward a crazy twist.

    Thanks so much for joining me today Josh,  and good luck with Pandora and polishing up Jericho. Just be careful if you encounter any more bears OK? Before you leave us can you give us some quick fire answers to the following questions? It must be the first thing that pops into your head… Ready…Get Set… Go..

    Favourite type of food?

    Chicken in all its various forms

    Favourite movie?

    Star Wars

    Favourite book?

    Percy Jackson: The Lightning Thief

    Favourite book character?

    Percy Jackson

    Red or yellow?

    Red (ew yellow)

    Sweet or savoury?

    Sweet

    Beginning or End?

    Beginning

    Favourite city?

    Colorado Springs

    Land or sea?

    Oh, toughy!  Sea (when I’m not seasick)

    Fact or fiction?

    Fiction

    Thanks Josh, it’s been a pleasure having you here today. To find out more about Josh and Diabolic Shrimp click here

     

    Oh The Things You Can Think…. Finding The Space Between The Words… Progress on Book 3

    I appear to in the throes of a writing frenzy. Whether it’s the longer days, or the (slightly) warmer weather I am unsure.  It doesn’t happen often so when it does, I strap myself in and type as fast as my stubby fingers will allow. Then I hit the wall. I lay exhausted in a crumpled heap until chocolate and caffeine (or wine) revive me. I break only to feed the hungry teens and walk the dog. Everything takes on increased speed and unwavering focus as I hurtle towards my word count. Sound familiar?

    What I hadn’t banked on was the rest of my life becoming equally as crazy.I do like a good dose of procrastination to balance things out, but sadly this week there was no time for it! Procrastination, for me, is like an annoying friend. You can’t wait to see the back of them but then miss them when they’re gone! It has only been a four day week (due to the bank holiday), and even then I had Tuesday off, so technically… well actually, I only worked three days. I know  – I’m a light weight!

    So the book, how’s the book coming along? Well, I’m glad you asked! Last night at precisely 11.45pm I hit 40,000 words! 40,00 words on a book that I had no intention of writing, not bad eh? Yeah, I was impressed with myself too! Suffice to say Lady Virginia Penrose has been very busy and very bossy! I’m aiming for around 85,000 words so you could say I’m almost half way. I’m hoping to get finished before the end of the year, but I’m not going to hold myself too firmly to a date. Writing this book has taken me by surprise so I want to try and find the space between the words, give them time to breathe. Hopefully, it will help the different strands find their way. Which is why this weekend I am leaving it be. Yep, you heard me, I won’t be going anywhere near Lady Ginny. I shall of course still be writing! I have an interesting blog post to write about an Alien and some wine, no I haven’t been drinking, well not yet.

    So me hearties ( oh no, I’ve gone all West Country… must stop thinking about the return of Poldark), pop back tomorrow to hear about the Alien. Until then here is a picture I took at St James Park in London a few weeks ago… I am desperately trying to channel the Swan!

     

    Swan1