Monday, 28 January 2013

Allow Me to Reintroduce Myself Blog Hop

So, this blog hop is all about reintroducing yourself to the blogosphere. There's still time to sign up, just head on over to Stephen Tremp's blog and check out some of the others while you're there too.


I wish I could say that I wrote my first story when I was four and have been writing off and on all my life. The truth is, I think I did write a story when I was about six or seven, but we were doing it as a class so it kind of takes away the sentimentality of it.

The next venture I had into the world of novel writing was when I was 11 and my English class wrote one together. I only had a couple of pages to write but I found I really enjoyed it. Unfortunately not everyone in the class took to it as enthusiastically and the end product turned out to be rather lacking in anything resembling a readable novel.

Following on from school, I went to college, studied science with The Open University and now work for a recognised Institute doing DNA sequencing. Throughout my studies, every year I would look for what course I was going to do next, and more and more I started to err towards the arts courses. Thinking back on it, I'm not sure why I did science instead of English, particularly as I did better in English at GCSE.

About two years ago I got talking to someone at work about writing stuff, and it turned out we had similar interests, so we started a little writing club and wrote stories to share. We even began the first stages of a collaboration, but work and family commitments inevitably get in the way so we haven't got very far with it.

This is what started my current adventure into the world of writing, and indeed blogging. Ever since then I've tried to work on some kind of writing routine, using various different techniques to practice my skills. My confidence has grown slowly and I'm becoming much more comfortable in this new world.  It may sound crazy, but the whole experience is helping me to find who I am, and I'm finally getting to the point where I'm happy with myself and what I'm doing. It seems to have taken a long time but I'm finally getting there.

I've also started doing the arts courses that I've been looking at so longingly and I've really enjoyed getting into a completely new area of study, although I'd be lying if I said it hasn't been a struggle at times.

And so now here I am, I've had this blog for a little over a year now and I feel I'm growing with it all the time. My productivity is increasing and I'm finding it easier to get motivated to sit down and do the work. I've made so many great friends that seem to be on the same level and understand exactly some of the things I've been going through. You can't put a price on support like that really, and I'm glad to have been accepted into the community.

Hopefully this is the beginnings of a long and successful journey, which I will be more than happy to share with you all as time goes on.

Here's to the future ...


Friday, 25 January 2013

Celebrate the Small Things!

It's Friday, yay! And time for a new blog hop. This one is the brainchild of VikLit at Scribblings of an Aspiring Author and is to celebrate even the smallest of achievements that you manage in the week. It doesn't matter what it is, as long as it evoked a positive feeling of satisfaction and joy at having done something.

This is a weekly hop so head on over to Vik's blog to get more details and to sign up, or click on the badge on my side bar.  Enjoy!

This week I want to celebrate:

  • Getting through the whole week without slipping over and hurting myself. It has been very icy the last week or so, so it's been quite a challenge!
  • Making good progress with my current read, Interview with the Vampire - I'll definitely be finishing it this weekend
  • Deciding on a topic for the A-Z Blogging Challenge in April (although this is bound to change between now and then!)

Until next time ...


Thursday, 24 January 2013

In a bit of a boggle ...

I'm having a bit of a dilemma at the moment and I'm just going to get it all out now and see what people think. I apologise now if it comes out as a bit of a ramble.

Basically, I think I'm trying to do too many things and something has to go. I just can't make the decision as to what.
I'm in a very positive place with regards to my writing, I'm making progress with it and I'm really enjoying it too.
I work full time, starting early in the morning so I can pick my daughter up from school and then looking after her when we get home. Then there's all the usual home stuff, cooking, cleaning, etc.
Finally, I'm studying with the Open University doing an English course. It's a distance learning institution and it's quite intense.
Trying to juggle all of these things is tricky for me most of the time and I very often get a little down as inevitably one thing or the other slips and I get behind in something.
For at least a year now I feel like I have been constantly tired and struggle every now and again with managing even the simple things. I'm having one of those lulls right now and I'm finally realising that actually it might just be the workload I have given for myself.

I honestly don't know if I really do have too many things that I'm trying to do or whether I'm just spending too much time worrying about it, and should just get on with it. Then there's the old thing about doing one thing well or many things just average.

It's really tough trying to decide what to do, I really want to do the study but I also want to continue building on my writing. What I don't want though is to make myself ill over it all, either with doing too much or with the worry.
The logical thing to go at this point in time would be the study. It would make my life a lot less stressful, I'd actually save myself money through not paying the costs and it's something that I can go back to and pick up again later if I want to.

Every time I get close to sending the email to withdraw though I begin to feel guilty about quitting and being a failure. But is it failure to realise your limits?

I do wonder if I'm making too much out of this and the decision is actually a straight forward one, but any fresh perspective that can be offered would be greatly appreciated.

Photo courtesy of


Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Allow Me to Re-Introduce Myself ...

There's a great blog hop taking place next Monday and it's all about re-introducing yourself to the blogging world. I've been doing my blog for over a year now and any new followers (or even old followers) may not know that much about me and my writing hopes and ambitions. So I thought I'd take part in this hop to enlighten you a little as to my background and how I wound up on this crazy course.

The hop is brought to you by Stephen Tremp, who I've only been following myself for a short while, but I love reading his posts and he's got some really interesting stuff going on at his blog Welcome to Author Stephen Tremp's Website. You should definitely check it out, and while you're there sign up for this blog hop too, there's still time!

In fact, he's got lots of future blog hops listed and I may just have to have a look at a few of them. Thanks Stephen for the tips!


Monday, 21 January 2013

My Favourite Martian Blog Hop!


So the guys over at The Geek Twins are hosting a brilliant blog hop along with Just a Dash of Geek and L K Hill.

It's looking at what everyone's favourite martian or alien is from anything you like.
I've been thinking about this one all day, and I just can't seem to make my mind up. There are just too many possibilities.
I'd finally decided on one but the first post I see on this blog hop had the very same character I was thinking of. Darn it!

So, after much deliberation I've finally decided that my favourite alien is .......

Lwaxana Troi!

Image courtesy of

 Daughter of the Fifth House,  
Holder of the Sacred Chalice of Rixx, 
Heir to the Holy Rings of Betazed.

She is such a wonderfully strong character, never failing to bring some colour and humour to the Universe wherever she appears. She has such exuberance and seems on an endless mission to find herself a new mate, something that makes both Captain Picard and Odo quiver in their boots.

She does still have a softer side though, which comes out now and again, giving a much fuller dimension to her character. And of course she was portrayed by the excellent Majel Barrett Roddenberry, an actress that managed to get onto every incarnation of the Star Trek series, and will certainly have a treasured place in the heart of every Trekker.

So, who's your favourite martian? Head on over to one of the hosts to sign up and check out everyone else's.


Saturday, 19 January 2013

Back from the Future - coming 1st March 2013!


As soon as I saw this blog hop I knew I had to be involved. The logo alone was enough for me!

It's brought to you courtesy of M. Pax, Suze at Subliminal Coffee and Nicki Elson's Not-So-Deep Toughts and if you want to be a part of it just head on over to these guys, sign up and have a little peek at who else is doing it too.

Here's what it's all about:

 You’re up before dawn on a Saturday when the doorbell rings. You haven’t brewed your coffee so you wonder if you imagined the sound. Plonking the half-filled carafe in the sink, you go to the front door and cautiously swing it open. No one there. As you cast your eyes to the ground, you see a parcel addressed to you … from you.

You scoop it up and haul it inside, sensing something legitimate despite the extreme oddness of the situation. Carefully, you pry it open. Inside is a shoebox — sent from ten years in the future – and it’s filled with items you have sent yourself.


What’s in it?

I can't wait to see what everyone comes up with!


Friday, 18 January 2013

1303 The Dragonslayer cover reveal!

Welcome to the cover reveal for the third installment of Christine Rains The 13th Floor novella series. I must say, I particularly like this one, well done Christine. 1303 – The Dragonslayer (The 13th Floor series, #3)
Author: Christine Rains
Genre: paranormal romance
Release date: February 13th, 2013

On the rooftop of neighboring building, dragonslayer Xanthus Ehrensvard fires at his target, Governor Whittaker. How he missed the shot, he doesn't know, but fleeing the scene, he picks up an unwanted passenger. Gorgeous reporter Lois King saw Xan's face, and she believes it's the story to make her career. Except he can't let her walk away knowing what he looks like. Xan has to show her the Governor is a bigger threat to the world than he is.

Xan knows dragons never went extinct. They evolved with human society, taking on mortal forms, and slithered their way into positions of great influence and power, just like the Governor.
But it's no easy chore proving to someone that dragons still exist, and even more so, they're disguised as famous people. Xan must convince Lois or find another way to silence her. An option, as he gets to know her, he likes less and less.

After all, dragonslayers are no longer celebrated heroes but outlaws. Just as the dragons wish it. But this outlaw must make a plan to slay the dragon or risk its retribution.

Author Bio:
Christine Rains is a writer, blogger, and geek mom. She has four degrees which help nothing with motherhood, but make her a great Jeopardy player. When she's not writing or reading, she having adventures with her son or watching cheesy movies on Syfy Channel. She's a member of S.C.I.F.I. The 13th Floor series is her first self-published series. She has four novellas and eighteen short stories published.


Wednesday, 16 January 2013

It's back! The A-Z Blogging Challenge 2013. Go on, have a go ...

OK, so I have to get this post out of my head ASAP seeing as it's actually keeping me awake at night thinking about it at the moment.

I took part in the A-Z Blogging Challenge last year and it was definitely the catalyst for kick-starting my whole blogging life. There was never any doubt that I would be taking part in it again this year. Last time, I didn't cover any particular subject, my posts were mostly writing-related and any problems/struggles/successes I was having.

This time though I want to focus on something particular; I just need to find what that something is. A couple of subjects have come to mind that I have an interest in so they are strong contenders, but I'm wondering about trying to post a new piece of fiction each day for each letter of the alphabet. I worry though that this may be more of a challenge that I can handle. But then, what are challenges for if not to push us further?

If you haven't tried this yet then you must have a go, I found it very useful for getting me into a proper blogging routine. Just click on here or on the picture on my sidebar to go to the main page for all the details. There are plenty of co-hosts for this one ready to help and encourage.

The sign-up is on 30th January, put it in your calendar!


Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Wednesday Blog Hop - First New Steps

OK, so you guys know the drill now for this little weekly blog hop. One picture, five words, 500 words and one week to turn it all into a nice bit of fiction.

Many thanks as usual to Carrie, Nicole and Tena for hosting this, you do an amzing job of keeping it all going.

So this weeks picture:

Dream Pool

This weeks words:    Engineer, muscle, spider, race, machine

And this weeks story:

First New Steps 

Eleni's landing was smoother than normal, not the usual drop and bounce that made this kind of traveling so uncomfortable. She glanced down at her feet and noticed the surface she now stood on, glistening and slightly spongy. This seemed to be the reason for the landing and she made a note to mention it to engineering, they could look for this substance in the future. She took her scanner out to record its composition before moving on.
The ground beneath her became noticeably firmer as she walked onto the red and yellow carpet leading away from her landing site. As she walked she glanced around at the tunnel of green surrounding her. She'd never seen a place like it, in all her years of traveling. She came from a race of nomads, always on the move and never spending more than a few centuries in a single place.
She bounced lightly on the spot, flexing her knees and testing her muscles. The magnetic pull of the planet seemed to agree with her physiology, she certainly didn't have any discomfort like she had on the last planet. She spent days there just trying to shuffle her feet along the ground. Here she was light of foot and was sure she could've ran if she'd fancied it.
She walked a little further on, scanning the area as she did so, and her fascination was drawn to a strange noise coming out of the air above her. A series of high pitched sounds emanated from somewhere high above, regular in occurrence and with a second, lower in tone, almost sounding in response. She mused on the sounds for a while until she concluded that they could only be some form of communication. She made a note, certain that life forms were close by.
Continuing on, something caught her eye just behind one of the columns ahead. An odd thing, such that she'd never seen before. A tall creature, very pale in colour but covered mostly in an odd outer skin. Not very much in the way of fur and with only two ocular organs that she could make out. She held up her scanner for a more detailed look, curious as to what kind of machine this could be. She held its gaze for a long time before it turned and bolted.


Jane stayed hidden behind the tree as she tried to comprehend what she'd just witnessed. She'd been heading down to the river for some water samples when she'd heard the low hum and seen the beam of light. It disappeared and in its place was an odd creature, human sized but spider-like with its four legs and wiry arms.
She watched in awe as it studied its surroundings, and almost forgot her footing as it looked right at her. She held its stare for an eternity, before turning as quickly as she could and ran. There was no way the lab guys were going to believe this.

Word count: 499


Sunday, 13 January 2013

1302 The Alpha Launch Day!!!'m so excited today, it's the launch for Christine Rains second novella in her 13th Floor series, 1302 The Alpha. I've just finished reading the first in this series, 1301 The Maquis, and it was excellent. Look out for the review of this coming soon. I can't wait to get started on this one.

I'm particularly excited about this launch because it's the first day of The Alpha blog tour and Christine has stopped by here for an interview.

It's been great for me to get to know someone further along in their writing journey.

Thanks Christine for stopping by my blog, and I hope you all find her experiences as encouraging as I do.

HM:  So, why did you decide to take the self-publishing route?

CR:  This was a big decision for me. I thought about it for a long time. I've always wanted to go the traditional route. I still might in the future, but right now, with my family being my number one priority, I decided self-publishing was the best path for me. It gives me the flexibility I need, and I love having control over my own work.

HM:  What advice would you give to anyone considering the same route?

CR:  Do your research and put out the best possible story you can. There are a lot of great sites out there that give advice on how to self-publish your work and then promote it. Both are equally tough jobs. It helps to have an excellent editor too.

HM:  What is your inspiration?

CR:  Most of my inspiration comes from dreams. I'm a vivid dreamer, and I remember at least a few dreams from every night. I also love to read about legends and myths. Plenty of sparks for stories there.

HM:  Are you a plotter or a pantster?

CR:  Pantser. I've tried to manage my muse and my time, but my stories have lives of their own. I love writing a story and being surprised by what comes out. Of course, this means I've gasped and laughed in public, but I can live with a little embarrassment.

HM:  When were you comfortable calling yourself a writer?

CR:  When I'm online, I'm comfortable with saying I'm a writer. Outside the web, I'm still not at ease with it. I don't often get positive reactions. Only a few people I interact with on a normal basis know I'm a writer. I'm very shy to begin with, and I rarely talk about anything personal. Writing is personal for me.

HM:  How do you fit in writing around a busy family schedule?

CR:  It's very difficult at times. I try to write when my son is napping and in preschool. Yet sometimes there are errands to do or something else pops up. I write when I can. Even if it's just for five minutes. One hundred words a day is better than none.

HM:  How long does it take to get from initial idea to a finished piece?

CR:  It depends on what I'm writing. Usually, I'm quick with first drafts. I can write a novel in a month or two. It's the revising that takes me a long while. It has to be done, but I don't like it, and I tend to procrastinate.

HM:  Have you learnt anything about yourself since becoming a writer?

CR:  I've learned that I do have the courage to put my stories and myself up in front of the world. It's like standing naked in front of millions of people. I never thought I could do it, but I've met so many brilliant and encouraging folks in the writing community.

HM:  Have you made any sacrifices for your writing?

CR:  Writing is my only hobby. I'd love to do other things like garden and paint, but I only have a little time to myself. I chose writing. I don't regret it, but I miss doing other things with my free time.

HM:  What does the future hold for you as a writer?

CR:  This year, I'll be writing and promoting the 13th Floor series. This is my big project for the year. After this, I'd like to revise one or two of my older manuscripts and query them. Perhaps I'll self-publish another one, but I'd like to see if I could get in with a small press.

Author Bio:
Christine Rains is a writer, blogger, and geek mom. She has four degrees which help nothing with motherhood, but make her a great Jeopardy player. When she's not writing or reading, she having adventures with her son or watching cheesy movies on Syfy Channel. She's a member of S.C.I.F.I. The 13th Floor series is her first self-published series. She has four novellas and eighteen short stories published.


Friday, 11 January 2013

Book Review: Fearless - Christine Rains


Fearless now available Abby White was seven years old when she killed the monster under her bed. Now she slays creatures spawned by the fertile imaginations of children, and the number of these nightmares are on the rise. Neither she nor her guide - a stuffed hippo named Tawa - know why.

When she rescues Demetrius from an iron prison, he pledges his life to protect hers until he can return the favor. She doesn't want the help. And how can she concentrate on her job when the gorgeous wild fae throws himself in front of her during every fight? No matter how tempting, she can't take the time to lose herself to him.

To save the children and all she loves, Abby must be truly Fearless.


WARNING:  SPOILER ALERT!  If you haven't read this book yet and don't want to ruin the experience then please do not read any further. I will not be offended, I'd much rather you enjoy the it properly.
If you have read it, then do read on ...

Fearless is the first of Christine Rain's novels that I've read, and I'm pleased to say that I wasn't disappointed with it at all.

When I started reading it I wasn't sure what kind of story it was going to be. It begins with a 7 year old Abby as she first discovers her calling and I think because of this I expected it to be aimed more at a younger audience. When it then fast forwarded to her being an adult and in full control of her power I was expecting the writing to stay on a similar level. She also has a guide that she carries with her and it takes the form of an object she holds dear, in this case a stuffed hippo. I think this also added to the perception of it being for a young audience. However, when her male lead was introduced and the sexual tension between them surfaced I began to think that this maybe wasn't for the younger folk quite as much.

After getting over this mental hurdle in my reading, I enjoyed the story very much. Seeing Abby dealing with the stresses of her job, trying to find the demon behind it all in time before any more children went missing, alongside her growing irritation regarding her feelings towards Demetrius made for a compelling read. I found him particularly amusing as he constantly teased her with her own desires and feelings, knowing the effect he normally has on women.

It was well written and kept me involved in the story until the end. Christine is a self-published author and a good one too, there were no spelling or grammatical errors to distract from the action.

To learn more about this and her other novellas, and the author too head on over to Christine's blog

Rating:  4/5

I'm currently reading 1301 The Maquis, so look out for the review of this soon!

Photo courtesy of


A Writer's Book of Days - Judy Reeves

When asked by my husband what I'd like for Christmas there wasn't really many things that I could think of. I think we've got to that point now that I don't really want all that much. However, one thing that had been on my wish list for a little while was A Writer's Book of Days by Judy Reeve, so I thought 'why not?' and suggested it to him.

A Writer's Book of Days, revised editionI first became aware of this book through Vicki Thompson's blog, The View Outside. She spent all of last year working through it and posting about her progress on her blog pages. It seemed like a great idea to help me get kick-started with a proper writing routine so wanted to give it a go.
I thought about it a lot in the build up to Christmas and was getting excited at starting the challenge on 1st January, but then I started to worry that he may not have ordered it for me. And what if he hadn't? It was going to be too late to order it in time to start on the first day of the year. And you can't really ask someone whether they have or haven't got you something, can you?
Anyway, Christmas arrived and he had indeed got me this little gem so I was ready to go once 2012 had disappeared.

                                                                                                             Photo courtesy of

This book is full of tips and encouragement to help writers keep going with their writing practice. The chapters are divided into each month of the year and within them is a different prompt for every single day. It is supposed to help writers get used to scheduling time into each of their days to write something, however little.
I've been doing it every day so far, spending at least 20 minutes writing to the prompts. In the book it says you're supposed to just sit down with your notebook, write the date and the prompt at the top of the page and then launch straight into it. Don't give any time for contemplation or planning, just go with whatever comes into your mind when you write down the prompt. This isn't always easy though. Often only a couple of thoughts pop into my mind, which I write down and then try to weave them into something that makes sense.
My first couple of entries turned out to be more reflective musings on how I think and feel about my writing, but I want to try and write short pieces of fiction or even (eek!) some poetry maybe.                         

I also have to start telling myself that not every prompt I write about is going to be brilliant. I mean, that would be great, obviously, but it's not going to happen at this early stage of my journey. Some have been alright, they have potential for something more later on, but some have been a bit of a ramble. But, the important thing is I'm getting words down on the page and practicing my writing.

I'll post an update at the end of the month to let you know how I'm getting on with this, but in the meantime writing prompts await ...


Monday, 7 January 2013

Don't Break the Chain!!!

I've seen this little challenge bobbing around the blogosphere quite a bit over the last few days, and I originally saw it on Vicki Thompson's blog The View Outside. This is an excellent blog by the way, it really keeps me going with a positive feeling towards my writing when I read Vicki's posts, so thanks very much to her.

The idea is to print off a calendar with 365 days on, and each day that you write something new you can cross off the day with a nice big fat red cross. If you do this every day you'll eventually get a chain of these crosses and you won't want to break the chain by missing a days writing, even if it's only for fifteen minutes.

The idea came from Jerry Seinfeld and if you want to download the calendar for free then click the link here.
I actually had a little trouble printing this off myself so I've made my own, but the principle is the same.

Have a go, I've only been doing mine for a few days and already I don't want to miss a day.  I'll post an update with my progress at the end of the month.


Sunday, 6 January 2013

Goodreads Challenge 2013

Last year I made a decision to try and read more books. I've always loved reading but since I've had my daughter I found that this particular pleasure has been hard to make time for.

2013 Reading Challenge I wanted to read more and also keep track of my progress. I discovered the Goodreads Reading Challenge at the end of 2011, so it was perfect timing to start my book count in the new year.

I originally set my target for 12 books in the year. I wasn't sure how much time I was going to have so I thought one a month was a sensible goal. I was quite pleased to have reached this target by the end of June, so I reset it for 24 books. Surely I could do the same again.

Sadly December was a busy month and I hardly read at all, finishing the year having read 22 of my 24 book target. I'm happy to say that's quite successful.

This year I've set my target again for 24 books, and who knows? I may even get to this number before the end of the year is out.

I have a widget on my blog keeping a track of my progress, and if you want to take part too then head over to the Goodreads website to sign up.

Goodreads: Book reviews, recommendations, and discussion

Happy reading!


Friday, 4 January 2013

ebook or pbook? A 21st Century dilemma ...

I've had my Kindle for over a year now and I do love it. I've got nearly a hundred books on there and it's so handy to fit in my bag when I go anywhere.

But I still love books. Real paper to feel and smell, turning each page and savoring the sensations. My little bookmark poking out the top so I can see and be satisfied with the progress made in one sitting.

My brother gave me some book vouchers for Christmas and I've been debating for a week about what to spend them on. There are sooooo many books I'd like to have and read, the sheer number of which would fill every wall space we have in the living room. And this is the reason that I got my Kindle in the first place. I could have all the books I want and they're all stored in a handy sized vessel. No more bursting bookshelves.

But as I say, you can't beat the smell and feel of a new book. I have the first Game of Thrones book both as a book and on my Kindle, and I've wanted to get the next ones but I just couldn't decide on the format. Kindle for space saving or book for more enjoyment.

It was a hard fought decision but eventually I caved in and have ordered the next ones as paperback. And now I'm filled with the anticipation and excitement of their imminent arrival. I can't wait to get the box open so I can smell the newness, feel the smoothness. I know that sounds weird but I'm pretty confident that I'm not the only one who does this. Right?

I still like my Kindle but you just can't enjoy an epic if you can't hold it in your (both) hands.

How about you? e or p?


Thursday, 3 January 2013

Wednesday Blog Hop - The Kindness in Youth

The Wednesday Blog Hop is a great hop that happens each week and it has two criteria for taking part. One is a picture prompt and the other is five random words that have to be included in a short story of no more than 500 words.
Once you have your story go to one of the hosts, Carrie SorensenNicole PylesTena Carr and Leanne Sype, and link up before reading the other contributions.

The picture this week is:
Austria,bakeries,cakes,candies,chocolates,Christmas,Christmas markets,cookies,desserts,foods,Germany,gourmets,iStockphoto,markets,pastries,Photographs,snacks,sugars,sweet foods,Vienna

and the five words are:   aerial, far, rain, sale, profit.

This week was quite tricky getting the words to fit, plus I think I'm coming down with the dreaded bug that has been doing the rounds, so I'm not sure how much sense this weeks offering is going to be.

Anyway, here goes ...

The Kindness in Youth

Sam leant against the window with his nose pressed up against the glass. Even from the outside he was sure he could smell the sweet goodness from everything on display. He held his shiny coin in his hand, it was aching from where he'd been clutching it so tightly. His mother had given him her last bit of cash in her purse and told him to get himself something nice. He'd run the whole way in excitement but had been worried about dropping the money on the way. He opened his hand stiffly and looked again at the coin. There was so much variety for sale he couldn't make his mind up.
The last time he'd seen such a lovely selection had been at the school fare, his eyes had been so wide it made his mother laugh. He'd been disappointed though, a huge storm hit and there was so much rain it had to be abandoned. He'd gone home empty handed, saddened at what he'd missed.
He'd not thought much of it until today. His mother didn't bake much and she'd always insisted they all ate healthily to grow up strong. She was a kind woman but very strict with the sweets and cake.
He'd been so surprised when she sent him to the bakery he'd almost thought he was dreaming. All he'd done is repair her tv aerial for her so she could watch her favourite programme during the day. He'd done it more to get her out of his hair than to help her out. Without it she was hovering around the whole time, trying to help with his school projects. It was easier for him to fix it so he could get his time back for himself. He never realised there would be any extra profit in it.
And now he was deciding what to get with his unexpected gift. He was poised on the verge of opening the door when he noticed an elderly man slumped against the side of the shop next door. His clothes were ragged and his shoes worn through, a hat pulled dow over his greasy hair. Sam looked at the cakes again, longingly, and then back to the man. Sighin deeply he took his hand off the door handle and handed the money to the man. 'Here you go, sir,' he said, 'get yourself something to eat.' The old man looked up into Sam's eyes, filled with gratitude. He took the money and shuffled down the street to the coffee shop.
Sam resumed his position at the window and gazed in. He didn't notice the jangle of the bell as the door opener, and the owner stood next to him in his bright blue apron.
'That was a lovely thing you just did, son' he said, holding out a brown paper bag. 'Why don't you enjoy this little treat for your kindness.' Sam felt the smile spread across his face.

Word count: 495


Wednesday, 2 January 2013

IWSG - Lessons learnt from 2012

Welcome to the first day of IWSG 2013! 

The Insecure Writers Support Group is a fabulous place where we writers can get together to share our successes and our troubles, to help support one another when things slow down and get tough, and give encouragement to any who may need it. To find out more head on over to Alex J Cavanaugh, the brain behind the whole operation. Post your own words of support or just go and have a read of what others are sharing. You won't be disappointed!

At the beginning of 2012 I did as many others do and made myself a New Years Resolution/To Do List, with its main focus on my writing habits.

I resolved to write 500 words a day, submit to at least one competition a month, get properly started on my novel, amongst a whole host of other little tasks. As the year went on I added more and more to this list, completely forgetting about the things already on it. My main aim for 2012 was to get something published, and I thought that trying to take on all of these little things would somehow help me to achieve that goal.

I drew up a timetable for when I could fit everything in, even down to time slots every day, windows that I could fill with writing stuff. As time went on though, I missed more and more of these little goals and my heart started to sink as the list of overdue tasks just grew and grew.

I was trying to do all of this alongside an OU course, preparing a wedding, getting ready for my daughter starting school and all of the other everyday things that go with life. In short, I was trying to do way too much. Don't we all just get like that sometimes?
I actually sat down over the holidays and wrote a proper list of everything I was trying to do and then sat back, wide-eyed at everything I thought I could do. I really must think I'm some kind of super-woman. I mean I am, obviously, but it's no surprise really that my level of output dropped so much.
The only thing that I managed to keep going with, more or less, is my blog. And then I realised that I'd actually achieved my overall aim, to get something published. After all, what is my blog if not publishing my thoughts and writing? This lifted my spirits nicely and so I can feel positive about something from 2012.

This year I've decided to take things slow and steady. I'm not setting any ridiculous goals for myself, just one or two that I think will be manageable. I'll post more on these over the next couple of days and have some tabs to keep track of my progress. Already this year is starting on a positive note.

What have you taken away from your writing in 2012?


Tuesday, 1 January 2013

Happy New Year!!!

Image courtesy of

Here's to a happy and prosperous 2013.
May it bring you all you hope for xxx