I haven’t gone AWOL. I have been thinking of my followers, and there are so many posts I have in mind that will be put up in the next few weeks. But I have been exceptionally busy!



AWOL Helps our Enemies - NARA - 534638

Firstly, I have a job. Granted, it is only Monday’s, but I have been sorting out childcare. It is harder than it sounds! I have also been thinking and developing my Main Character for the current Novel. She now has her own blog. You can find her here.


I heard of character blogs through other writers, and I have heard that it is a good way to develop them. Although she is feeling pretty real to me now, I need to make her even more real. So this will be a fun challenge! I hope it doesn’t take me away from the actual writing of it though.

If you do head on over to my MC’s blog, please do let me know what you think of her first post! It is harder to ‘be’ someone else than it sounds.

Back to normal for me next week. See you all then!

Why bother?




Why do I bother?


This is a question that I asked myself, though at first it wasn’t about writing.


I then realised that it is a very good question to put to writers too.


I am sure that you will all agree, writing is a hard slog at times. You get bored of a character, or the words just won’t flow. Or perhaps that story you wrote 10 years ago has given you ten times as many rejections. And so you think that maybe you aren’t cut out for this.  And you hang your hat up, and throw your pens in the bin.


Only, a day or 10 from that day that you throw your pens in the bin, you feel, well………weird. Your pulse is okay. Your breathing is okay. Your eyes and gums are pink (and if this doesn’t apply to you, go see a doctor. Please!)


So what could be wrong? Then you realise. It has been a while since you wrote. And how you miss it! No wonder you feel like you are dying. Your life blood hasn’t been nurtured.


Then you realise why you bother. Because you need to. You need to write.


Taking a break is good. I have taken one. I have lived a little. And I remember why I bother.


Why do you?


Reading the untitled book I mentioned in my last post, the question of Niche came up. This is a very valid question, but in the world of fiction writing, niche has another name: Genre.

Don’t go running away now, it isn’t that scary. Really!

If nothing else, one thing I have learned is that genre is so, so, so important. Why? Forget being told that it means publishers know what your book is about, or that book sellers know what shelf to put it on. Though that may be true, without genre you won’t get published!

This is my belief. I have founded it on this: Genre keeps you on track.

You are writing a crime? Then where is the crime? The detective?

Romance? Then you need to inject some lurrrvee.

Thriller? Then why are you sitting laughing at your characters latest antics?

When writing with genre in mind, your characters end up doing the right things. When you get stuck, your genre can give you some clues as to where to go next.

This doesn’t mean that you can’t change your mind. That thriller can become a comedy. and the romance can become crime, and you can even write in two genres at once! The important thing is that you know what your book is about and what book shelf it will be sold from.

So before you begin, forget everything else. Think Genre!

"Writing", 22 November 2008

Well, again, I have been pretty productive! I still have no ideas for an article, but I’ll get there.

In fact, I lie. There is one idea. Though it isn’t fully formed yet. Perhaps it will grow. Or perhaps it won’t. I lie again! There was another one I wanted to explore! Okay, so there are a few topics that I may or may not write about. On my to-do list today, I have written ‘Listen to Women’s Hour‘, because this might give me more ideas. Here’s hoping.

I have had one success. Many moons ago (okay, maybe not that many, 1 or 2 perhaps) I wrote in to Writing Magazine. It was a question for the help pages. I eagerly scanned the next copy for my letter. Nope. Next issue a month later, I eagerly scanned it again. Nope. Oh well, they aren’t publishing it. I thought. This month’s issue (I believe it is May, if you want to go out and buy a copy, thrust my letter under peoples noses screaming ‘I know her! I know her!’) – as I was saying, this month’s issue contains my letter!


I now have 3 letters in my achievement file! Next it will be a short story, then an article, then a novel! And then………………










I will dominate the best seller list forever more! Mwahahahahahaha










And then…..I can call myself a writer.

It’s a new day, it’s a new week, and in my spare time I came across a kindle book about finding ideas for blog posts. I won’t name the book, because to be honest, I can’t rate it. There were too many spelling errors! But, I bought it not just for the blog, but for my articles.

I am really, well and truly struggling! Ideas for articles are like gold dust for me. I see fellow writers having no problems with it, but yet I do. Ideas for fiction, not a problem! Prompt or no prompt with fiction? Easy peasy.

But put a Writers’ Bureau Assignment in front of me, and my mind goes blank. As a kid, I wanted to be a Journalist. I even did work experience on The Shropshire Star (Telford’s local daily) but my Careers Advisor knocked the aspiration right out of me. I now think she did me a massive favour, as it seems I am pretty rubbish at it. Tell me ‘get a story on a woman who jumped out a plane and learned to fly’ and I could probably do it. But when I am given:

Pick a women’s magazine. Now write A personal experience type article or an interview with a local personality or someone who is likely to interest the readers of your chosen magazine or a humorous article

I come out in a cold sweat! Now, this means that either I pick the wrong magazines or I am not cut out for this writing lark.


I have thought that I could do a personal experience type article, but there is nothing really that I would willingly share with the whole world. And as the ultimate idea is that it will be published, I guess that means I am doomed!!!!


Do you have any ideas on how to come up with ideas for non fiction? Answers on a postcard (or the comments box below) please.

"Writing", 22 November 2008


It is Friday the 13th yet again. How many are there? It seems that they are quite common as of late. But I don’t feel unlucky today, not at all.


I have been quite productive. I have learned that the secret is: Prioritization!

Now, yes, you would have thought that my silly little brain would have figure that out when I started reading ‘The Positively Productive Writer’. But no. I had my goals, but I didn’t make them important enough. I was writing and writing and writing. But I was writing so many different pieces that nothing was getting finished. And I would cry into my cereal that I am not writing enough on the novel, but hey, I’m writing on everything else, so that’s okay isn’t it? I’m still writing. WRONG!


Yes, I was still writing, but I want to write a novel. And alongside that I want to write something that might just be published one day. Yes, I was still writing, but I wasn’t feeling at all fulfilled.

So, my novel is my Priority! Every day, without fail, I will get 335 words down on it. That, on a good day, takes me less than half an hour. I cannot, I repeat, cannot work on anything else – not even this blog – until I have written at least 335 words on my novel. If I write 535, it doesn’t mean I can write 200 less tomorrow, it just means that I am 200 closer to finishing earlier!


As the novel is the most important thing for me, the thing that means the world to me, it must take priority. And over the past week, it has! Other stuff has been done, and will continue to be done. I think 335 words is modest. If I keep it up, I might up the daily word count, but I’ll leave it at that for now.


Another thing: I don’t have much going on. I refuse to write more than 5 things at a time (novel, short story, competition, article and assignment). If a new thing takes my fancy, tough! It has to wait until I finish the last one in that category. I’ll let you know how it all goes.


And finally, some exciting news! Some of you may remember that in 2010 I took part in – and won – NaNoWriMo. The novel? Shaun’s Children. It has now been removed from the dusty hard drive. 40 pages have been printed. The editing will be commencing soon! Here’s hoping I can work with the drivel.


I thought I wouldn’t have anything to write today. I was wrong! Until next time……


Firstly, I would like to forewarn: There may be typo’s that I see, but don’t see. Why? Because my brain is all awry after a migraine. This is why I didn’t post yesterday (and really, probably shouldn’t be posting today!)

Now, I have already explained yesterdays absence (migraine, come on, keep up!), so this is what I would have posted yesterday.

Some time in the last two weeks, I mentioned the Easter holidays. They are well and truly here! Someone (not mentioning any names) commented that I would probably have more time than I anticipated. I would like to know, where is it then?

Contemplating this lack of magically appearing time, I realised that not only was it the holidays but it was a brand new month. No, I didn’t conclude that it was an elaborate April Fool. It was simply this: I had no direction, goal, list.

Last month I blabbed about being more productive. On the whole, I succeeded. I had my lists. I had my direction. I had Goals! Because the first ‘work day’ coincided with the first day of the Easter holidays, I didn’t write down the month’s goals. This is totally my fault. I put importance on the house, not on the work. And now, I am totally imbalanced. Again.

The migraine I suffered over the past 2 days has, surprisingly, done me the world of good. I spent all the time in bed. When it started to ease, I didn’t get up, knowing that I may set it off again. So I stayed in bed. This led to me feeling much better and revived today, albeit slightly confused and disorientated. But I will get over it.

So, far from being a bad thing, I have learned a lot this past week.

I need to balance life more, and work out what is truly important.

Lists are good (and they need to be written, so I am still writing!)

A day off once in a while is a good thing.

And another thing that has helped kick me up the butt is a blog by a fellow writer Steven Chapman. He is doing some challenge to do with the letters of the alphabet, and he is writing about getting motivated. If you haven’t already read his blog, get over there now! Not only is it informative, it is very interesting too. And he is very clever, and knows about HTML and stuff, so it looks better than mine!


I am going to go and make a start on my list. Will this be my Positively Productive Month?


Potato patch 2008

It’s Good Friday, but to me, it is just Friday. And it isn’t Good. More bad.


I am sitting here, realising that the last week has been and gone and I have done……zilch. As far as writing is concerned any way.


This week I have: Been accused of being ‘narky’, met a new person, discussed APD with numerous people (anyone who would listen!), noticed my Potatoes aren’t growing, noticed that my Tomato Plants are!


I have 19 Tomato plants. Tomorrow, I will have to transfer them to the pots I bought today. What am I going to do with 19 Tomato plants? My son said ‘that will be a lot of ketchup!’. He is right!


And who knows, in the next 7 days, I may write something worthy. I do miss it. And I think the lack of writing is what has made me ‘narky’. Him indoors said that when we go on holiday that I must take my writing with me. Too right!


Here is to a more fruitful 7 days.


Hearing exam

It is evening now, and I have only just got around to writing this blog post.


I can’t say that it is because I have been tapping away at the computer, compiling a masterpiece. No, it is the first day of the Easter Holidays.


I have been so busy with motherly stuff today that no writing (other than this blog post) has been done.


So, in the spirit of straying from the Norm, I will talk about the troubles that have been happening surrounding my son.


Ever since he could talk, there has been something not quite right with my boy. He was supposed to be referred at 2 and a half to a paediatrician, but as we moved away, this never happened. Since then, health professionals and care providers have noticed issues with his speech, and his ability to make sense of words. A hearing test showed he could hear. He was branded a boy that doesn’t listen.


We have struggled with this for so many years, and it was only a chance conversation that led me to the possibility of Auditory Processing Disorder. Yeah, I never heard of it either.

So off I went, back to the doctors. He commissioned a hearing test. My son passed. That was that. My son can hear, so he is just seeking attention.


I cried. For days. APD is not an inability to hear, more a processing issue (the clue is in the name!). Thinking I was imagining all the problems, I looked through his red book. There, in black and white, aged 2 years and 1 month, my son is noted as having a problem. At 2 years and 5 months, a note saying ‘plan to refer for full assessment’. We moved. At 3 years, noted an issue with comprehension.


At school, aged 4, the Special Needs teacher came and said that he was struggling hearing. First test came back okay. Two years later, the same test came back okay. I asked the teachers for backup. They say there isn’t a problem any more. He just doesn’t listen. This is despite the fact that during a meeting not that long ago they said they experienced the same issues I do……..


So now, I am left wondering….what next? Do I fight? Or do I hope he grows out of it?

If you are struggling, just like me, visit this site. It has helped me no end so far.




And it is Friday again.


Today is also the last day of the school term, and my little angel will have 2 weeks off! EEK! I’m sure I will survive somehow.


Now, I haven’t been as productive as I would have liked (do you see a pattern emerging?), and I know that the next two weeks I won’t get as much done as I might like. This whole unproductive malarkey is making me very miserable. I feel like a hamster on a wheel, hammering away and going no where.

So I concluded that I really am doing too much. From now, I will only have 3 projects on the go. The novel, a short story, and an article. Let’s see if that will help improve my output.


Something needs to change, that is for sure. I am going to be re-visiting ‘The Positively Productive Writer’ and I will read it more slowly this time, whilst bulleting steps I need to take. I hope it works.


How is your writing coming along?