Archive | June 2014

Unsure

Unsure

This is going to be a quick post as I haven’t got a lot of time this evening. But I just wanted to share with you a little about what’s been on my mind today.

As with many of my thoughts it’s to do with my writing and how it’s going.  To update you, I’m about to send my upcoming novel Reunion of the Heart to my proofreader. Once I have it back from her, I’ll start making the final preparations to publish it – hopefully by the end of the summer.

But it’s not Reunion of the Heart I’m stressing over – well not much anyway! ;)  It’s actually my new WIP, as yet untitled.  I’ve shared bits of it on WIPpet Wednesday; you can read this week’s excerpt here.

What I’m unsure about is the fact that it’s about a teacher (it’s a romance), a young woman, who works in a secondary school (11-16 yr olds), but I don’t know a huge amount about secondary schools in the 21st century – I haven’t been at a secondary school for the best part of 20 years.  I’m kind of feeling that I may be out of my depth.  I just don’t know enough about, for example, how technology is used in schools nowadays.  I’m sure it’s light years away from when I was there.

Also, although I’ve planned quite a lot for this story (I am DEFINITELY a plotter not a pantser!!), I feel that it’s still not clear in my head the way it should go in the middle.  I know the beginning and the end, I even know part of the middle, but it’s the in between scenes I’m trying to create now which are wearing me down.

So I was wondering… what do you guys do when you’re in a similar position to me?  Do you keep going and plugging away at it?  Or do you think ‘I’ll stop and do something else, or go back to the drawing board’?  And have you ever been writing something where you’re unsure you know enough about it?  If so, what do you do?

It’s  a lot of questions, I know.  But as always your thoughts are welcome. :)

A chance encounter in a cafe

Costa cafe

Hello one and all and welcome to this week’s WIPpet Wednesday.  I hope you’re all well and, for those of you that are in the UK or anywhere else that’s sunny right now, I hope you’re making the most of the weather!

Anyway as the title of this post suggests, today’s WIPpet that I’m sharing takes place in a cafe.  It’s from my as-yet-untitled WIP romance about a school teacher.  In this scene it’s the weekend and my MC Rebecca has cycled into the centre of the city where she lives for some R&R.

While she’s there, she sees someone she knows and what follows is their encounter.  I’m sharing with you just over 25 lines for the 25th June, which I think is generous seeing as I haven’t written much yet!

Rebecca headed across the pedestrianized area towards the large Next store.  She needed a new belt; her current one had seen better days.  But as she approached the store, the smell of fresh coffee brewing washed over her.  Led astray, she followed her nose to its source: the nearby Costa.  There were only three other customers in the café, a man and two young women chatting together. 

Still feeling the effects of her lie in, Rebecca ordered an espresso and sank down onto a large leather sofa facing a low table.  She picked up the crumpled copy of the previous day’s Times, and became engrossed in an article in the culture section on the newest book by one of her favourite authors.  She was so absorbed in what she was reading that when someone cleared their throat, seemingly right by her ear, she jolted upwards in her seat, nearly spilling her espresso all over her pale blouse.

Her brow furrowed as she looked up, and then un-furrowed itself as she saw Nick’s friendly face smiling down at her.

‘Interesting article?’ he asked her.

‘Yes actually,’ she replied smiling back.  Seeing that he was hovering with a drink in his hand, she added, ‘You can join me if you want.’

‘Thanks, that’d be great.’ He sat down opposite her, crossing his long legs in front of him underneath the table.

Rebecca took another sip of her espresso, determined not to be awkward with Nick.  He’s just a member of staff, she told herself.  A very cute member of staff, but a member of staff none the less.

‘So, Rebecca, how’s your first couple of weeks been?  I bet it’s a lot to get used to.’

She nodded. 

And there you have it.  If you would like to take part in WIPpet Wednesday, all you have to do is post an excerpt of whatever you’re working on writing-wise at the moment and post it on your blog.  Ideally it should relate in some way to the date.  Then post your details here.

Thank you our lovely K. L. Schwengel for being our marvellous hostess!

Confession

ConfessionI have a confession to make.  You know how on social media, blogs and writers’ blogs in particular we’re often told that a success for one indie author is a success for us all?  Well sometimes I find it really hard.

I find it hard to swallow that while my novel is languishing at the bottom of the Amazon rankings (well it feels like it anyway!), Mr or Ms Successful Indie Author has sold millions of copies of their novel and is doing very nicely thank you.

As a Christian, I know I need to take a step back from myself and not ‘covet my neighbour’s success in writing’!  And I’m trying, really I am. But sometimes it’s a bitter pill to swallow when I read about so and so’s book doing fabulously while mine… well, isn’t.

See the thing is, like most if not all indie authors, I’ve put the hours in; I’ve worked hard to write and then publish a novel, done a blog tour, updated my blog regularly, tweeted, posted on Facebook etc etc.

I do realise it doesn’t necessarily work that way – I may have worked hard but perhaps my book just isn’t quite what people were interested in reading.  But I feel I’m not quite at the point where I can truly be glad for others’ success.  I’m trying hard but I’m not quite there yet.

I guess it’s a lot like life in general – for most of us there’s always gonna be people who’re more successful than us, have a better job, bigger house, more expensive car etc.

I find it helps me to remember what the Bible teaches – that ultimately these things don’t matter.  What’s important is not how successful we are materially but how we live our lives.

When I consider this life and all the things (i.e. possessions) we hold dear, I often think of the ancient Egyptians and the way they painstakingly filled the tombs of their Pharaohs with their most treasured possessions, much of it still priceless today, in order that the Pharaoh would take it with him to the afterlife.

Because ultimately it’s the same with us: the success we have materially in this life and all our possessions aren’t going to go with us when we die.  So what’s the use wasting precious time getting hung up on so and so succeeding more at something than me?

I hope that someday soon I’ll be able to read about a fellow author’s success without feeling a pang of envy, and be truly glad for them.

Am I the only one who struggles to be gracious when faced with others’ success being greater than mine?

It’s OK now cos I’m back!!!

I'm back no 2

My apologies for missing last week’s WIPpet Wednesday. I’d been very busy with work and I was also really tired. But now I’m back! And I’ve actually written some more on my WIP – finally after months. So I’m happy about that.

If you follow my blog, you may have seen that I’ve been thinking about how to increase my presence online, particularly with this blog.  You can read about that here.  This is with the ultimate aim of publicising my writing.  I guess that’s fairly obvious, but I find it amazing how the whole purpose of social networking i.e. to promote our writing can become obscured until we have less and less time to spend on the writing which is what it was all about in the first place.

That’s how I see it anyway.  I certainly find it to be true of me.  I’m finding it hard to keep up with everything, what with work and blogging, tweeting and most importantly writing.  I feel that I maybe need to scale back what I do on social media a little to focus more on my writing.

Anyway for this week’s WIPpet Wednesday post, I’m sharing with you 4 short paragraphs from my current WIP.  My maths goes like this: 6 for the month – 2 from 2014.  Not great but I couldn’t see another way to do it.  In this scene, my MC Rebecca, who is an English teacher at a secondary school (11-16 yr olds), is teaching her class of fifth formers (15-16 yr olds).  Some of the boys are mucking around.  She’s determined to maintain control over the class…

‘Daniel Leavis, what do you think you’re doing?’ Rebecca said sternly.  She was teaching the fifth formers’ English class.  It was two thirty on a Friday afternoon, the end of a busy and stressful two weeks for her – and they were only the first two weeks into her job.

Daniel looked up at her, smirking.  She saw a bit of folded paper in his hand that he was attempting to conceal.  Feeling her patience wearing thin, Rebecca stalked up to him.

‘Whatever that is in your hand, you can give it to me.’

‘Ooh give it to you, yes please,’ Daniel’s sidekick Richard snickered under his breath.

That’s it from me this week.  If you’d like to take part in WIPpet Wednesday but are unsure how, all you have to do is post on your blog something that you’ve written recently.  Make sure it relates in some way to the date.  Then add your name here.

Thank you K. L. Schwengel for hosting. :)

Yay editing done!

Editing

Well I’ve actually done it! I’ve finally finished editing my novel Reunion of the Heart. OK so technically I told you I’d finished the other day.  But it needed tweaking, so I tweaked it.  Now all it needs is to be proofread by my mum once she’s back from holiday. Hooray!

My husband is gonna work on a cover for me, so I’m hoping to publish it by the end of the summer at the latest. But I was wondering about something – whether, once I’ve published it, to do a blog tour or not? What are your thoughts?

I did one for The Inheritance when I published it last year, but although I worked really hard for it I didn’t get many comments on the blogs I was a guest on.  I’ve actually heard that blog tours tend to generate more traffic to the host blogs rather than interaction for those doing the blog tour.

I’m DEFINITELY doing a cover reveal this time.  I have to say it didn’t even occur to me to do one last time – I didn’t really know much about the whole process of self-publishing and all that I would need to do to promote my work.  Having seen a lot of cover reveals on various blogs, I think it’s a good idea for me to do one.

And now that I’ve finished editing Reunion of the Heart, I can FINALLY get back to working on my next as-yet-untitled project – another romance, this time with a young woman who’s a teacher as my MC and VERY different to my MC in Reunion of the Heart. I’m looking forward to this; it’ll be good to continue on with it.

When I last looked at it, I remembered that, having written a bit over 4K on it, I’d gone back to the drawing board so to speak and I’d made a whole load of new notes which I really need to read through.  I made more notes because I really needed to flesh out the plot and actually invent some scenes for it – I truly am a plotter rather than a pantser.

Although I don’t always stick rigidly to my original plan, I do find that I can get a bit lost in the story if I don’t have a clear idea in my head as to where the story is going.  So for me it’s best if I have a clear plan in place.  That way I don’t become stranded, as I was with this new project before I did some more planning.

To update you with my blogging progress – well I’ve had some hiccups i.e. not doing WIPpet Wednesday this week as I mentioned in my last post.  But I am blogging more often than I was.  I’m not doing so well keeping up with reading other people’s blog posts.  I must confess I delete most of what comes into my inbox!!

Anyway as I mentioned in a previous post, I’m doing what I can and ultimately that’s all I can do.  I’m getting new followers on Twitter all the time and some new followers to my blog, which is slightly harder to see since I linked my blog to my Twitter and Facebook accounts lol.

I would like to change the theme on this blog sometime soon – I’m a bit fed up with all the pink!  It’s a bit much even for me lol.  So I’ll be working on that at some point.  But not today :-P

I also want to sign up to Google+ (although I may be signed up for it already as I have an Android tablet and phone and they keep telling me that so and so have added me to their circle or something like that) and maybe a few more.  But all in good time.

Where are you at in your writing journey?  Are you happy with the way it’s going?  Do you find it helpful to have a big presence on social media?

An update on how things are right now

Well I didn’t make WIPpet Wednesday this week.  Truth be told I didn’t have anything new that I’d written to share.  I’ve been busy and Wednesday just crept up on me so quickly.  I kept umming and ahhing over whether to write something at the last minute to share, but in the end I decided not to.  I was so tired I couldn’t face it.

Anyway the reason I’m busy and tired is that a couple of weeks ago I started another work placement with Bristol City Council (UK). Reason being that after I left the paid job I was doing, I decided rather than spend a lot of time on my own with only a bit of job hunting to do, I would do something constructive with my time, put the job hunting on hold and go back to the council.

I’m with a different team this time, but they’re just as lovely as the first team and I’m really enjoying it.  I felt I needed the experience and confidence boosting that the placement at the council would give me. I’m not that accustomed to the world of work due to illness over the years, so doing things this way gives me time to increase my skills and confidence.

I’m doing admin with the aim of being able to get a job in that field later on.  I enjoy working as part of a team with all the camaraderie that entails.  It’s good for me – I couldn’t have coped working alone in the job I left which you can read about here.

So what about my writing?  Well today I finished my editing of Reunion of the Heart (yay!) and I’m going to send my manuscript (via email of course) to my mum for proofreading.  The catch is that I haven’t timed things very well – she and my dad are off walking the Camino (the pilgrims’ trail in Spain) and won’t be back for another couple of weeks at the earliest!

Oh well.  That gives me time to go back to my WIP which I began working on before I started editing Reunion of the Heart.  Apart from all this I’m trying to blog as much as I can and follow as many blogs as I can.  I’m failing miserably at keeping up with all the emails of blog posts I’m getting – but hey I’m only human and I can’t look at everything.  So I’m picking and choosing, trying at least to comment on those blogs of people who’ve done me the courtesy of commenting on mine.

Talking of blogging, I’ve linked my blog to Facebook and Twitter (and then got really surprised when the number of my blog followers leapt from 181 to over 2200 lol!!).  So I’m hoping that’ll help me to give it a bit more exposure.  I also want to link up to some more social media sites – but all in good time.  At the moment I’m finding it hard to keep up with life – though things are good they’re busy and a little bit hectic. By my standards anyway!

So hopefully I can get Reunion of the Heart published by the end of the summer (hopefully being the operative word!!).  I’ll keep you posted as and when that happens.

How is your writing going at the moment?

EVENTIDE Released

Elaine Jeremiah:

It’s the release day for Krista Walsh’s new book ‘Eventide’. I’m reading it at the moment and it’s wonderful. Well worth a read!

Originally posted on The Raven's Quill:

Woohoo!!! Eventide, book 2 of the Meratis Trilogy, is now available on Amazon and Kobo! Looking for it on iTunes and B&N? Check back soon as I update the links!

Not sure if you’re interested? Read part of the first chapter here.

EventideEbook-Cover-loresSix months after he returns from his fictional world of Andvell, Jeff Powell is still plagued by nightmares, and an inability to write anything new. Cursed with permanent writer’s block, and on the verge of losing the woman of his dreams, he feels his life can’t get any more complicated. Until he comes home to find Jayden and Brady in his apartment with news that the evil sorcerer Raul is in Montreal.

In their search for the now-powerless villain, they find themselves cast back into Andvell, tasked by the Sisters with finding Raul before he regains his power and destroys the world.

As far as Jeff…

View original 59 more words

This entry was posted on June 9, 2014. 2 Comments

What about social media?

What about it?  Well continuing on my blog posts about what makes a good blog, I just wanted to write a quick post about the importance of social media and how good it’s been for me and my writing, as well as to tell you what I’ve been considering in relation to it.

I guess technically blogging and blogs are a form of social media, but in this post I want to focus on how I’ve found that other forms of social media can support it.

Personally, I wouldn’t be without social media.  It’s transformed the way I write.  Although I don’t use a whole load of different social media sites (I only really use this WordPress blog, Twitter and Facebook), through it I’ve been able to connect with many other writers around the world.

Social media as we know it is relatively new.  Ten years ago, say, there weren’t all these blogs around. There was no Twitter and Facebook had only just started.  So when I was first experimenting with writing longer stories, there wasn’t half as much support available to me from other writers as there is now.

My husband was the person who suggested to me that I start a blog to promote my writing and then do a search on the internet for other writers’ blogs to connect with.  I’ve said what I’m about to say before, but I think it’s worth mentioning again: I started a blog and then I did my searching and I got nowhere.

I did a Google search on other writers’ blogs and came up with very little.  I was discouraged – how could I possibly connect online with other authors if I couldn’t find anything on the net?  Then my sister suggested I try Twitter.  I joined it a couple of years ago and I’ve never looked back.

Joining Twitter is one of the best things I’ve ever done; through it I’ve been able to meet a number of other writers face to face, as well as connect with other writers all over the world.  My blog is starting to take off – I currently have 181 followers – and it’s enabled me to promote my writing a lot more easily.  I use my WordPress blog in conjunction with Twitter and now and then with Facebook and it’s really helped.

However, having said all that, I have had some comments that I only have Facebook and Twitter share buttons on my blog.  The thing is they’re the only social media sites that I’ve signed up to.  Now I’ll be honest here – as much as I want to promote my blog and for it to be as visible as possible – I don’t want to have to sign up to a  load more social media sites, such as Google+ (which keeps trying to sign me up anyway!!), Pinterest, Instagram et al.

The reason is that I already struggle to keep up with the demands of writing, working, housework (yes I do some!!), looking after our dog, church and everything that goes with that, socialising, reading, reading and commenting on others’ blogs, Twitter and Facebook, to name but a few.  And so I just don’t want to burden myself with yet another thing on the list that I should be doing, when I can barely keep up with what I’m already doing.

So my conundrum is this: how do I or can I promote my blog via other social media sites without officially joining them?  Now to you that might sound like a daft question.  Maybe it is, maybe it’s obvious that it’s not possible.  All I had in mind was that people who visit my blog might be able to click on one of the share buttons – if I added more – and share my work if they were on those sites themselves.  A bit like, say, me sharing an article I’ve read online on Facebook.

And that’s my parting question for you: is it possible to be more visible on social media as a writer WITHOUT signing up for dozens of sites that I might not have the time to use anyway?

As always, your comments are very welcome. :)

Something new for WIPpet Wednesday

Hi all.  As the title of this blog post suggests, I decided to do something a bit different for my contribution to this week’s WIPpet Wednesday.  I haven’t actually written anything new for ages – I’d put my new WIP on hold while I was editing Reunion of the Heart.

Anyway, I decided that because I hadn’t done anything new I’d create something new.  What follows is something I’ve written in about half an hour.  I don’t know if it’s good, I don’t know if it’s bad, so as always your comments are welcome.

It doesn’t relate to the date, but hey you can’t have everything!  But it’s not too long either, so that’s a bonus!!  I won’t say anything else about it, so just enjoy. :)

What am I doing? she asked herself as she turned around and left him standing there in shock, his mouth hanging open, as though all the words he wanted to say had deserted him just as she had. 

But she kept walking on and didn’t look back; she couldn’t.  This was it.  She had to take a stand – she couldn’t do this anymore.  Her life had been one big lie for the past ten years.  If only she could make him understand.  It’s too late for that, the merciless voice in her head told her.  There’s nothing else you can do.

Tears pricked at her eyes as she thought of what might have been.  She blinked them away and trudged along, the one bag she was carrying heavy on her shoulder.  She half expected him to come running after her, to grab her arm and wrench her back into his life.  But she knew him better than that – the indifference he showed her that had threatened to engulf her.

Her mind carried her back to their wedding day, how happy they’d been.  The hopes and expectations that they and all their friends and family had had.   She remembered the smiles of her father, the happy tears of her mother, her own joy at celebrating this perfect day as she was marrying this wonderful man.  Was it really only ten years ago?  Somehow it felt a lot longer than that.

The road she was on, literally and metaphorically, was not one she would have chosen for herself.  It would be an uphill climb, and there would be no one to share her heavy load.  She stared at the narrow pavement she was walking along; it was the evening rush hour and vehicles of all shapes and sizes were rushing past her, some narrowly avoiding crashing into her, all oblivious to her presence, her pain.

Barely aware of the traffic, she soldiered on, remembering the clichéd saying: To thine own self be true.  Reaching the pedestrian crossing she’d used on multiple occasions, she pushed the button and waited for the signal of the green man.  Its beeping jolted her out of her reverie and she began to cross, never seeing the car, whose driver was talking on her mobile phone, until it was too late.

There you have it.  If you would like to take part in WIPpet Wednesday, it’s easy.  Simply post on your blog any piece of your writing that you want – preferably relating to the date – and then add your name to this.  Then you can read all the wonderful things that the other WIPpeteers have written.

Thank you K. L. Schwengel for being our hostess with the mostest!