writing

Writing Progress

It’s time for the Insecure Writers’ Support Group blog hop, I won’t be answering the question  What pitfalls would you warn other writers to avoid on their publication journey? but if you follow this link you can find other writers who may be and see what the Insecure Writers’ Group is all about.

I haven’t had much time to write for my blog lately, that’s why this is short and sweet. But I’ve been working on a short story instead. And I’ve made some progress. It’s getting to the end of the first draft slowly.

I do need to change the characters names, I’m hopeless with names and I need to give them more thought. When the first draft is done and I’m in the stage of fine tuning I’ll find new names 🙂

Feeling happy that I made time to write today, though sad not time to write the review for this blog.

I’m made some progress with my story.

Small steps towards my goal of finishing it. Small steps to getting publication success.

Hope you’re meeting your goals and making progress too.

Advertisements
Uncategorized

The library

“The library card is a passport to wonders and miracles, glimpses into other lives, religions, experiences, the hopes and dreams and strivings of ALL human beings, and it is this passport that opens our eyes and hearts to the world beyond our front doors, that is one of our best hopes against tyranny, xenophobia, hopelessness, despair, anarchy, and ignorance.”
–Libba Bray

The library has always been known as the quiet place, the hub and mecca for book lovers and learners. But it’s changed over the years. Librarian’s no longer tell you to “ssh” so people can read quietly or maybe write that novel (assuming you found the energy to change out of your pyjamas and face the world of course) you will hear a background noise of singing when an activity like the ‘bumps and babies’ group are on.

“Bad libraries build collections, good libraries build services, great libraries build communities.
–R. David Lankes”

But you can’t criticise, this is their way of making the library more of a community hub, some of them are actually in community centres and share the building. The library in the town I live close to- Bridgend in South Wales- was moved from a perfect location in the town centre to a community centre just outside and now when you’re sitting there trying to read or write in the quiet (or study, sorry students) you’ll hear the sounds of laughter from the swimming pool next door.

I still want the library to be a haven, a place of peace and quiet you can go to but honestly when was the last time I visited my library? When was the last time you visited yours?

When I got my library card, that’s when my life began.
–Rita Mae Brown

I used to visit the library every Saturday morning when I was a child and teen. I’d come home with an arm full of books, alway reading around five at once. I loved it. I have a lot to thank the library for I found a lot of favourite authors there. And I feel guilty that I don’t go there anymore.

When I started working my Saturdays were no longer free and I miss the routine. But it’s only the last few years I’ve stopped visiting the library. Completely stopped.

It’s probably a lot to do with not being patient, in this world of quick delivery and instant downloads. But when you have a day off you want a book to read that day, but when you can’t find anything in the library you have to wait for one to be ordered. I bought a Kindle for the instant book, a way to get free classics and save space.

But eventually I starting using the Kindle a bit less and decided that I preferred a book in my hand. My Kindle is great for ARCs and discounted ebooks and free classics. And fitting in my bag. But I still preferred buying actual physical books. But I have so many books that going to the library instead of reading the books I own seemed like a bad idea. It’s good if I want to read a book and don’t want to add another to the shelves but then I’ve gone to order one and it’s missing/lost. After this happens quite a few times I give up and end up buying the books instead.

I often think about going back, this is why I wrote this post but working more means reading less and it might take a while to finish a book, I could exceed the number of renewals and have to go to the library but then maybe won’t have time, possibly. Time to read and time to go to the library, that’s what it all comes down to in the end. Do I have time? I have a stack of books to read and reading library books will not reduce the stack.
The walk down is enough of an incentive, to get out of the house and get some fresh air. I will be moving soon but I’ll have the choice of a library almost on my doorstep or a longer walk (not too long) to the library I’ve gone to for years.

Writing this post I do miss my library and I wonder maybe I could make the effort. Order a book I keep meaning to read. After all if we don’t use them we could lose them. The library was so important to me as a child, I wonder how many children still use them today? Not just for the computers or the fun activities they host but to go home with an armful of books, an armful of different worlds and ideas.

“A library is a good place to go when you feel unhappy, for there, in a book, you may find encouragement and comfort. A library is a good place to go when you feel bewildered or undecided, for there, in a book, you may have your question answered. Books are good company, in sad times and happy times, for books are people – people who have managed to stay alive by hiding between the covers of a book.”

[Letters of Note; Troy (MI, USA) Public Library, 1971]”
― E.B. White

If me going to the library keeps it open that’s good. But will one book make a difference? I need to get reading, reduce that to be read pile and visit my library again.
Do you visit your local library?

review

Just A job by Patsy Collins

Just A Job: A collection of 25 short stories by [Collins, Patsy]

A collection of 25 Perfect short stories to read on your lunch break ‘Just a Job‘ is a delightful read. I enjoyed them so much I was surprised to get to the end. My favourite was Fred’s Hat. I did intend a long review with notes about the individual stories but I didn’t want to give away spoilers.

There’s a good mix of poignant heart warming tales, tales with a twist and stories with lessons at their core. The characters are as intriguing as the plots. I loved all the stories and will have to give this a reread one day.

Patsy Collins often has her stories published in women’s magazines, you can check out all her collections and novels here don’t just take my word for it read this collection or one of the others yourself. You can see my review for ‘Not A Drop To Drink’ here.

*

Disclaimer: Just felt the need to add that whilst I follow Patsy on Twitter I have bought this ebook and read it because I am a fan. The author had no idea, until I shared this post. I love supporting indie authors and getting the message out about how good their stories are. 🙂

writing

Writing Wednesday: the perfect writing desk

I’m shopping for a desk for the first time ever. Never really had my own writing space before, the space to be organised and keep all my files and papers. And more importantly a place for my laptop and typewriter. Neither have a proper home at the moment. They’ve never had a proper home.

Where to buy?

I don’t think you can buy desks in shops these days so online is the only option. I thought about IKEA but searching on there brought up desk legs and worktops 😂 which tried my limited patience.

The ideal desk is probably something vintage, to suit my vintage typerwriter something like these:

Princes Risborough Desk

 

 

Maybe? I found these on Wayfair, it you search on Pinterest you can find even more of these types of desk… a writer’s dream…

But I can’t decide if I want a vintage style or something more practical. This one seems to have the vintage style:

Desk

But then others have more space for storage:

Desk

 

I’ve got some time before I need to buy one-when I move- so no rush yet to make a decision. Can’t wait to finally get my own space.

I need one big enough to keep my laptop and my typewriter  but I haven’t even thought about how big it would need to be.

Do you have a designated writing space or desk? Share your links in the comments 😀 Recommendations appreciated.

challenge

Beat The Backlist Update!

If you’re a regular blog reader you will know that I signed up to the Beat the Backlist challenge this year to widdle down my ever growing list of books on my ‘to-be-read’ list.  I’m not doing too bad although I have got side tracked by books I’ve bought and Netgalley books I’ve aquired to read and review 🙂

I can’t help it, it’s an addiction. Anyway, here’s what I’ve read so far this year

  1. Uncommon type by Tom Hanks( ninja book swap)
  2. Thin Air by Michelle Paver ( recent/first book fairy)
  3. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott (reread, readalong)
  4. Affinity by Sarah Waters (actual tbr book!)
  5. Good Wives by Sarah Waters (reread, readalong)
  6. Raven Black by Anne Cleeves tbr
  7. Hollow City by Ransom Riggs tbr
  8. The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (felt like it)
  9. Dead Of Winter by Geri Brightwell (Ninjabookbox)
  10. Anne of Green Gables (not a tbr but a read along)
  11. Jezebel’s Daughter by Wilkin Collins
  12. The Black Moon by Winston Graham
  13. The Four Swans by Winston Graham
  14. How to stop time by Matt Haig
  15. Assasins’ Apprentice by Robin Hobb

I hadn’t been keeping track of my reading for a while (and haven’t been updating on the Backlist website or here!) so I was surprised to realise I’d actually read fourteen! Only the ones highlighted in blue  are from my to-be-read list but for the Backlist challenge anything published before this year counts.

I think I’m going to change my own challenge, I’m only going to count those books that are actually on my to-be-read list from now on, I still keep track of books on my reading challenge on GoodReads, but I want to read more books from my to-be-read list:

  1. The Language of Thorns by Leigh Bardugo (ninja book swap
  2. Eragon by Christopher
  3. Three quarters of the orange by Joanne Harris
  4. Master of Shadows by Neil Oliver
  5. Solar Bones by Mike McCormack
  6. The Fry Chronicles
  7. Morganville series next books when I figure out which ones I’ve read (2)
  8. A Dance of dragons 2: After the Feast by George R. R. Martin
  9. Ink Death by Cornelia Funke
  10. The Raven’s Head by Karen Maitland
  11. A Parrot In A Pepper Tree by Chris Stewart (ebook)
  12. Mrs Dalloway by Virginia Woolf
  13. The Chisellers, The Granny by Brendan O’Carroll (2 ebooks)
  14. The Last Runaway by Tracey Chevalier
  15. The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
  16. Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank

Some books I am looking forward to reading but others it’s something I have to get in the mood to read. Why make it a chore? Why read something I don’t want to? I have this habit of impulse buying books I think that I want to read but never get around to reading them. If I buy one or two books, usually because I’ve got hooked into the first page, I usually tend to read them but not when I buy them in bulk. I can’t seem to get into the mood to read them.

I want to read them because then I can give them away and have more space for more books 🙂 Also it’s silly have shelves of books that I never get around to reading.

Not sure which one I’ll pick up next but I’m hoping to widdle this list down by the end of the year.

I might find more hidden away I can add to this list too and update as I go 🙂

Have you read any of these books? Which one do you recommend? How is your Backlist challenge going?

 

Uncategorized

Assassin’s Apprentice by Robin Hobb

IMG_20180710_154708625-1.jpg

This is the beginning of the story of the assassin known as Fitz. I first read the book Fool’s Errand some time ago and realised afterwards that Assassin’s Apprentice is where the story begins. Fool’s Errand is a later trilogy where Fitz is older and I had to start at the begining after enjoying Fool’s Errand so much.

It can be hard to explain properly what makes a book so intriguing and why you like it so much. I read half of this book without even realising how much I’d read. This is one of those books where you do lose all perception of time, you are right there in the story world and read so much without effort.

There’s so much going on in this book and you can’t see it before it happens, it’s seamless. The characters are great and the settings, culture and history are rich and absorbing. I can only wonder at Robin Hobb’s ability to write a fantasy novel with such a immense world.

There’s a lot of politics in this book but I didn’t really think “oh, boring politics” but more that the politics were causing the events and problems that Fitz is affected by and this novel is never boring!

I loved this book. It’s a perfect read and I can’t wait to continue with the next one and be back in this world again.

Assassin’s Apprentice is part one of The Farseer Trilogy despite it being part of a trilogy, there are no loose ends or deliberatly drawn out story line like you usually find in books that have a follow up. You finish this book satisfied that everything is concluded but also wanting more.

Recommend to all readers 🙂

 

AN IMPORTANT NOTE ABOUT THE COVER:

I love the cover, who doesn’t love a gorgeous cover? And do you ever know you designs it? I found out after I’d bought this book that an artist I was following on Twitter designed this cover :0

And I just now discovered her work is/was actually in a gallery in Tenby my favourite place :0

Jackie Morris, you can read about how she designed this particular cover here

writing

Writing Wednesday: trying

Always want to write when I don’t have time but then can’t get motivated when I do.

 

I had a creative moment, a little success,  I decided to go back and continue doing the exercises in this book:

Image result for back to creative writing school

I thought that doing an exercise might help to encourage my creative brain. I enjoyed the exercise, I had to think of names for two characters, answer a few revealing questions and then write a scene. It was good, I was surprised how quickly the ideas came to me. The first time you sit down to write it always the best when it’s all new and it’s flowing well. Sometimes I’ll be sitting for ages trying to think of anything. But then it’s been a while and my creative brain has been itching to be exercised.

But then I tried to continue with a story I’ve been working on and my brain decided it didn’t want to know, which causes me no end of frustration.  The heat isn’t helping me either, just giving me a headache so I admitted defeat for the moment.

This story  has an ok beginning but is in scraps and bits of scenes. I know what will happen and how it will end but the story is just not wanting to be written down. I might’ve made the mistake of typing it up too soon, I always find it easer to write with a pen and paper, the words flow more, inspiration comes easier than when I’m staring at a screen.

I have another story that has gone so far but I need to know what my character is looking for before I can continue it, mindmapping might help there or spending time figuring out who my character is.

It’s so frustrating feeling like you’re not getting anywhere (espeically when you know you won’t have time at a late date to write) knowing you have these stories inside you but it’s a battle sometimes to get them on the page. It will be worth it in the end, I will carry on trying because giving up is what got me in this situation to begin with.

Share your thoughts and your writing stories in the comments.

Take a look at the book Back to Creative Writing School by Bridget Whelan, it’s full of helpful advice with exercises to get you writing, perfect for every writer. I have the ebook.