Monday, 27 January 2014

Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes! - Express Yourself

The Express Yourself meme is a weekly jaunt brought to you by Dani at Entertaining Interests and Jackie at Bouquet of Books. At the beginning of the month the girls will post a gadget with a list of topics, something different for each week. Make sure to head on over to either of these blogs to check out the details more fully and see who else is taking part.      

 This weeks topic of conversation: Is there anything you'd like to change, or work on, about yourself this year?

I would really like to work on my confidence this year, particularly when it comes to my writing. I've had a good start this year with my blogging and freewriting each day, and I've been getting some positive support from friends that have now started reading some of my stuff.

I spend too much of my time feeling unhappy and a little depressed, and I'm pretty sure I know the cause; I'm just not doing what I truly want to do with my life. Now I know what I want to be doing I can make more efforts towards it, so by the end of the year I would like to have made some significant progress towards it.

I've just got to maintain my positive thinking!

How about you? Is there anything you want to work on about yourself this year?


Friday, 24 January 2014

It's Friday, which means it's time to celebrate the small things with VikLit! This is a great opportunity to celebrate even the smallest of victories you may have achieved in the last week, so head on over to sign up and see what everyone else is celebrating ...


This week I'm celebrating finally getting to the end of my current read. I've been reading 'Salem's Lot by Stephen King since 3rd December, which means it's taken just over 7 weeks to get through it. That's pretty rubbish!

It was a great book to read, and the last few days I've been ploughing through it, it just seems to have taken this long to find the time to sit down and read.

The lesson learnt from this, must make more of an effort with my reading!

What are you celebrating this week?

Have a great weekend!


Monday, 20 January 2014

Chores, chores, chores - Express Yourself

Express Yourself Meme                      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
The Express Yourself meme is a weekly jaunt brought to you by Dani at Entertaining Interests and Jackie at Bouquet of Books. At the beginning of the month the girls will post a gadget with a list of topics, something different for each week. Make sure to head on over to either of these blogs to check out the details more fully and see who else is taking part.      

 This weeks topic of conversation: Name a chore you dislike and one you love to do.

One job I dread having to do each week is the food shopping. The pain of it begins before I've even driven to the supermarket, when I sit down to write the shopping list. I always make a list of meals for the following week and only buy what I need, but trying to plan different and interesting meals that all the family like is quite difficult. My husband and daughter are far too fussy for my liking, and they are very difficult to please. 

Once that's out of the way, there is the drama of the supermarket car park, not to mention the inevitable trolley rage that ensues up and down the aisles, and then the massive chore of unloading the shopping only to load it up again! Trust me, online food shopping is the only way to go!

Give me a pile of ironing though and I'm a happy bunny! It may seem tedious, but not when you can watch your favourite TV or put some music on and have a bit of a boogie too. And it's always satisfying to finish the task with a nice pile of clean and tidy clothes.

Are there any chores that you particularly love or loathe? How are you with controlling trolley rage?


Friday, 17 January 2014

Celebrate the Small Things on Friday!

It's Friday, which means only one thing: it's time to celebrate the small things with VikLit! This is a great opportunity to celebrate even the smallest of victories you may have achieved in the last week.


This week I'm celebrating my progress with the My 500 Words challenge, organised by Jeff Goins.

I began on 1st January, and the aim is to write at least 500 words every day for the whole of the month. So far, there have been two days where I haven't written a single thing, and for the rest I've managed at least 400 words.

I'm not going to feel deflated though, I see this is a personal victory. I've been getting into a rhythm with my writing and discovering when the best times are for me to sit down and do it properly. I've also noticed a pattern of which days appear more difficult to get any writing done. With a little more organisation I should be able to fit something in on these days too in future.

So far my efforts have mostly been from blog posts and my 30 minutes of free writing each day. What I'd like to focus on next is a target of completing at least one short story each month. I'll be taking things gradually though, building up a little at a time and not getting too overwhelmed with things.

So, what are you celebrating this week? Any plans for the weekend? Have a good one, whatever you're up to!


Wednesday, 15 January 2014

If there's one thing I've learnt from Game of Thrones ...

... it's to always read the book before watching the TV programme or film!

I've just finished watching the third series of this HBO series, and those who have seen it will know what I'm talking about. Don't worry those that haven't, I wont give away any spoilers!

All I will say is that Series 3, episode 9 has left me more than a little traumatised. I was totally unprepared for the closing scenes and even though I watched it last Sunday I still haven't got over it. I'm not sure I ever will to be honest.

I'm kicking myself too because I would have much preferred to have read it first before seeing it. So from this, I'm going to vow to myself that I will always read the book first and not spoil the experience of reading it first.

It inspires me in my writing too, to have a reaction like this to either book or film/TV series. I would love to be able to write something to bring out the same kind of reaction in other people, and it's what I'm striving for with my projects.

Do you know which Game of Thrones experience I'm referring to?

Are there any other books or films/TV series that bring out this reaction?


Monday, 13 January 2014

Looking forward to film in 2014! - Express Yourself

Express Yourself Meme                      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
The Express Yourself meme is a weekly jaunt brought to you by Dani at Entertaining Interests and Jackie at Bouquet of Books. At the beginning of the month the girls will post a gadget with a list of topics, something different for each week. Make sure to head on over to either of these blogs to check out the details more fully and see who else is taking part.      

This weeks topic of conversation: What movie(s) are you watching in the theaters in 2014?

With the pending arrival of baby number two in the spring, I'm not sure how much I'll get to the cinema this year. However there are a couple that I will definitely be making the effort to see:

X-Men: Days of Future Past
 I was very excited at the end of The Wolverine and can't wait for this new X-Men movie.

How to Train Your Dragon 2
 My daughter is a huge fan of the first one, so will probably be pestering me to see this one when it's out. It's likely to be our first mummy-daughter trip without the new baby.

And of course ...

What films are you looking forward to this year?


Thursday, 9 January 2014

A prompt a day keeps the anxiety at bay ...

So, this year I have opted for just a single resolution to improve my output, and that is simply to write more.

To that end I have started out doing a prompted free write every day, timing myself for 30 minutes and writing whatever comes to mind. It's been a good exercise to get into, and one that I have kept up with so far.

As an extension to this I would like to share some of these free-writes, and so each Wednesday I will be posting my favourite one from that weeks prompts over on my fiction blog.

If you haven't been over to check it out yet, please do and let me know what you think of my free styling. I have other fiction stories on there too from the Writer Wednesday blog hop and Write...Edit...Publish monthly hop.

Thanks for listening!


Wednesday, 8 January 2014

Getting to grips with my inner voice - an IWSG post

IWSG Badge

So, here we are with the first IWSG outing for 2014! Doesn't the new year come around quickly?

For those still unfamiliar (just where have you been?) this is the IWSG, or Insecure Writers Support Group, a great place to find and give encouragement to fellow writers, whatever stage you may be at in your journey. 

Founded by the Ninja Captain, Alex J Cavanaugh, the IWSG has grown into an entity all of its own and has a new home over at the IWSG website. 
It has a plethora of places to go to for advice and opportunities for anything to do with writing.

Here you can find the IWSG sign up list where you can find others writing about their insecurities each month, and also sign up yourself to make new friends and gain encouragement.


Since getting back into my writing, I've been struggling a little with the idea of finding my own voice. It's not an idea that sits comfortably with me and I'm trying to understand just why that is.

Whenever I start a piece of fiction I always worry in the back of my mind whether anyone will like it, or whether anyone will even be remotely interested in it. I think this goes some way to shaping the end product and most of the time I'm not entirely satisfied with what I've done.

I've lost count of the amount of competition entries I've started, most of which have a theme to focus on, and I've stumbled half way through because I keep stopping to ask myself 'Is this what they're looking for? Will this make an impact? Does it follow the theme closely enough?'

I read an interesting article on the Waterstone's blog the other day by guest host Melissa Harrison called Against all advice ...
It went a long way to making me realise that I really need to set off on this journey in my own pair of shoes and walk the way I want to walk, rather than trying to fit into someone else's and wondering why I keep falling over.

I'm gradually beginning to feel more comfortable with the feeling of being a writer, which I know sounds odd but you all know what I mean right? I'm sitting back now and relaxing with what I'm doing, I'm going to work on getting pieces to a level I'm happy with and I'll worry about the public reaction (if any) later.

Right now, my writing's for me.

Have you found your writing voice? Did it take long or are you still on the journey?

Happy IWSG day everyone!


Sunday, 5 January 2014

Coming soon ... the Moonless Book Release Blogfest!

A blogger friend that I have been following had some wonderful news to share with the world last week. 

Crystal Collier's book 'Moonless' is currently available in ebook format, but she's just announced that it's also to be released as a full bodied paperback. Congratulations Crystal!

To celebrate she's hosting her very first blogfest on 10th February with her co-hosts Pk Hrezo, Tammy Theriault and Michael Di Gesu.


Here's some more information for those who may not yet have been introduced:


 In the English society of 1768 where women are bred to marry, unattractive Alexia, just sixteen, believes she will end up alone. But on the county doorstep of a neighbor’s estate, she meets a man straight out of her nightmares, one whose blue eyes threaten to consume her whole world—especially later when she discovers him standing over her murdered host in the middle of the night.

Her nightmares become reality: a dead baron, red-eyed wraiths, and forbidden love with a man hunted by these creatures. After an attack close to home, Alexia realizes she cannot keep one foot in her old life and one in this new world. To protect her family she must either be sold into a loveless marriage, or escape with her beloved and risk becoming one of the Soulless.
As part of this blogfest there's one thing that Crystal would love to know:
If you lived in a society where arranged marriages were a la mode, who would you beg your parents to set you up with? (Literary characters and celebrities welcomed.) Who and why?  
So, on 10th February all those who've already signed up will be posting who they'd like to be set up with, and if you'd like to join in all you need to do is head on over to Crystal's blog for the signup list. 
Head on over for more information, to sign up, and grab yourself the blogfest button. Don't forget to spread the word too! The more the merrier!
See you on 10th February!

Friday, 3 January 2014

Celebrating my 2013 Reading Challenge!


Friday CelebrationsFriday is here once again, which means it's time to celebrate the small things with VikLit, author of Scribblings of an Aspiring Author.

This is a great hop to get us sharing with everyone those little achievements that have made us feel good over the last week or so.

This is a normally weekly hop, but I will be posting my celebrations every two weeks instead.


For 2013 I used my Goodreads account to set a reading challenge to read 24 books throughout the whole year. Having seen the amount of books other people have been reading this isn't a lot really, but with the commitments I had for the year this felt achievable.

Imagine my delight when I actually managed to read 29! Woohoo!

                                                                2013 Reading Challenge

These are the books I managed to get through:

The War of the Worlds, Includes Bonus Sample of The Map of the Sky by Felix J. Palma  Carrie  Before I Go To Sleep  On Writing  Nineteen Eighty-Four  The Ghost  Kinetic (The Luminaries, #1)  Lash (Broken Angel, #1)  1305 & 1306 - The Oracle and The Vampire (The 13th Floor series, #5)  1304 - The Harbinger (The 13th Floor series, #4)  A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire, #1)  1303 - The Dragonslayer (The 13th Floor series, #3)  1302 - The Alpha (The 13th Floor series, #2)  High Fidelity  The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry  The Casual Vacancy  Is It Just Me?  The Great Gatsby  Wuthering Heights  The Lonely Londoners  Dubliners  Streamline  The Lighthouse  The Sign Of Four (Broadview Editions)  Confessions of an English Opium Eater  Interview with the Vampire (The Vampire Chronicles, #1)  1301: The Marquis (The 13th Floor, #1)  Fearless New Moon (Twilight, #2)

This year I've upped my target to 35, hoping to increase my reading intake gradually. While glancing through these books I realise that they're a bit of a mix, no particular flavour or genre is coming out. 

So, I've set some particular goals for myself for 2014: 

  • I've started reading Stephen King's novels from the beginning, so I'd like to see how many of them I can get through.
  • I'd also like to read all of the books so far in The Game of Thrones series. If I can manage all of these I'll be a happy bunny.
  • There are plenty to keep me busy with these to authors so I may be able to squeeze something else in now and again :-)

Do you take part in the Goodreads Reading Challenge? Have you achieved your goals for 2013?

If you'd like to celebrate some small things with the rest of us, head on over to Vik's page to sign up to the linky list and see what everyone else is celebrating! 


Wednesday, 1 January 2014

My 500 Words - a 31 Day Challenge!

Firstly, a Happy New Year to you all! 

Now that 2013 is out of the way we can look forward to 2014 with hope and optimism, and what better way to do that than by starting straight off with a challenge!

I'm not making a long list of resolutions for this year, or goals that I want to achieve by a certain date.  Whenever I do this the list dwindles and falls by the wayside, I fail to achieve even half of them and I'm left feeling deflated and a bit of a failure. I'm not setting myself up for any kind of fall this year.

My one and only resolution is simple: to write. And hopefully every day.

Imagine my delight, then, when I came across this timely little challenge in my inbox this afternoon ...

My 500 Words Widget 

This little gem was sent by Jeff Goins, and if you've never heard of him before I would recommend checking out his site and signing up for his newsletters. He is an inspiration to hard-working writers, whatever stage of the journey you're at, and his updates always seem to come at just the right time when I need a boost.

It's come just at the right time for me, when I want to get my writing going again after a longer than intended sabbatical. 

The rules couldn't be simpler:

  • Write 500 words per day, every day during the month of January.
  • You can write more if you want, but 500 words is the minimum.
  • Don’t edit. Just write.
  • If you miss a day, pick up where you left off. Don’t make up for lost days.
  • Encourage, don’t criticize (unless explicitly invited to do so).
  • Blogging counts, but email does not.
  • All of this is completely free.

If you want to join in too, just head on over to the sign-up page, add a comment and add your blog to the linkup. Don't forget to keep track of your progress throughout the month and there are Facebook and Twitter groups too.

So are you in? 

The beautiful thing about it is, blogging counts for your daily total and this little post is my first 377 words for today!