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Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Publication Day for Short Story Collection!

Well, I pushed the button - hooray! :)

So with the concerns at the back of my mind I was able to progress to the actual publication stage.

Love Potion - six short stories, is now in the big wide world. 

It is the beginning I hope, of an enjoyable experience into Indie publishing. I look forward to further personal development, and learning from the vast amount of Indie Authors 'out there.'

Cheers!  Lovely people :)

Monday, 27 January 2014

Getting Ready to Publish...

Well, this has been a long process - bearing in mind I'm only publishing a collection of short stories, not a novel.

It has had it's moments. You know, those kind where you want to hurl the laptop out of the window, or merely jump up and down on it, because the formatting just won't do what you want it to, or the table of contents doesn't link to the actual contents.

I think I may have only been one step away from this:

But, on the plus side I have actually learnt quite a lot. Mainly through trial and error, and by traipsing the internet for 'instructions' of which there were many - some more helpful than others. But it mainly came down to my lack of know-how in relation to using Word, rather than the process of using Kindle Direct. 
By the time I am ready to repeat the experience, I will perhaps go through it more calmly - I may even enjoy it.

However, I shouldn't run away with myself. I haven't hit the all important 'publish' button yet.

There are various reasons for this:
  • I am afraid
  • I feel I have to read through it all just one more time...and then another...
  • I have to check the preview screens for each available reader numerous times to make sure all formatting is right for each
  • I'm worried that I'll click publish and realise I've forgotten something
  • I'm scared that no-one will like my stories
I guess it's the first and the last reasons that are the key ones in preventing the 'action.'

I could of course keep the collection trapped in my computer for ever. 

Perhaps I'll push the button later...

Perhaps I'll wait till tomorrow...

Monday, 20 January 2014


I was at a loss yesterday, looking blankly at my screen, awaiting for inspiration to hit me hard enough to propel my fingers into action. A first line appeared, as if by magic, and then an entire paragraph. Great, I thought, here we go.


No worries, I'll just start another. But then, as I saved the paragraph I had managed to pen, under 'first paragraphs' (imaginative I know) I realised I had ten of them. Some had even got to three, four paragraphs in length before the abandonment.

Why can I start something but never seem to finish it? All these ideas float around in my head, and I am forced to write them all down - because you never know when an idea may become a fully fledged story - and yet, there they lie - in a folder- unfinished. 

I think it can be invaluable to have a folder of first lines and first paragraphs in case inspiration isn't flowing. But at that moment, sitting at the dining room table, none of those 'firsts' were inspiring me or propelling me anywhere other than to the chocolate stash
(which sadly isn't as highly stacked as my abandoned paragraphs).

I did some searching, soul and otherwise, and found  This advice. Ah-ha, yes this was what I needed. A little direction. All in 5 easy steps.

Step 1 is clear enough - Stop starting new projects. So for me, that is stop writing new paragraphs. (Really difficult actually). 

The rest of the steps may be self explanatory, but I found it really helpful to follow them and it kept me focused. 

After all the steps were completed - guess what? 

Ta-da - a fully finished short story. 

Then I got cocky and repeated the process with another paragraph. Only eight more to go...

Then I can start my collection of first paragraphs again :)

Does anyone else have this problem? How do you overcome it?

Saturday, 11 January 2014


        I have decided. I am not very good at being 'Rejected.' 

This, I realise, is on any level. But currently it is in relation to the stories that are making their way back through my letterbox with that awful resounding 'thud' on the mat. 

I am now having a crisis of confidence and have turned to chocolate for comfort. As a writer, rejection is to be expected at some point; I have read many writer's experiences on the subject. But, despite the usual advice like, 'It's part of a writer's life, move on to the next project,' etc I find myself feeling deflated. 

Perhaps I am just not thick-skinned enough for this. I am far too emotional and can be reduced to tears by the smallest of things. 

But, at the same time I always thought this would enable me to be a better writer, after all - emotion is the key is it not?

I know I have to persevere. Nothing worth fighting for is ever easy. Hopefully though, one day it will be worthwhile. I have given myself a number of goals that may or may not be achievable. But at least the worst year is behind me (hopefully!), and I am going to at least give 2014 my best shot, even if it hasn't started off that well. 

Thursday, 2 January 2014

Top Reads of 2013

   It would appear I only read 17 books in 2013 - less than normal. Perhaps it was just due to the fact that it was not a great year all round for me, and certainly some of my choices of books reflected my state of mind. But it was also some of these books which kind of 'got me through.' My top 3 reads therefore were:

The Silver Linings Playbook

I read this book in one day. I had taken some 'time out' and this seemed the perfect book to accompany me. Pat was such a great character and I felt for him! Made me re-evaluate a few things in my own life. I loved this book- and thankfully read it before seeing the film - which didn't quite live up to the book for me.

My Alien Self: My Journey Back to Me

Amanda Green's memoirs of how she experienced her life whilst suffering from depression, and a host of mental health conditions that threatened to derail her life, was the one book that began to help me identify my own issues. Sadly, days after finishing this book and feeling in a better place, my Dad died. 

Into the Darkest Corner, by Elizabeth Haynes

This book had been sitting at my bedside awaiting my attention for a few months. It was apt that I picked it up at the point I did. This story made me brave - and somehow I managed to make changes that had been long overdue. 
It's amazing how books can change your life.

My best Indie read of 2013 was Genome, by Gary Henson

This wasn't the genre of book I would usually pick up. But I really enjoyed it - see  my review here

So, to 2014. I am setting myself the goal of reading at least 20 books. I wonder what my theme will be this year...

I'm hoping for a lot of positivity!

What were your best reads?

Wednesday, 1 January 2014

And so for the Resolutions...


   This New Year, I began thinking about the New Year's Eve traditions that a lot of people follow. There are many facts to be found on the internet in relation to New Year. I found this one and thought in particular about the act of creating resolutions. Every year I, along with many others, write up (OK, so sometimes I just 'think' them) my 'dutiful' list of resolutions. Usually mine involve swearing less, drinking less and eating less. Too many 'lesses' for my liking and therefore probably why I never manage to keep them much past January 3rd! 
   The article talks about how the tradition  dates as far back as the ancient Babylonians who made resolutions to their gods at the beginning of each year, and then by the Romans, who made resolutions to the god Janus. Making vows of self-improvement has carried through since then. Apparently only 8 percent of people actually achieve their New Year's resolution. Hmmm...I am one of those. 
   So, this New Year I'm not going to create resolutions as such, I am merely making goals. Perhaps by changing the word from 'resolution' to 'goal' in itself will allow a change of mindset that may give me a fighting chance at sticking to the changes I want to make. We will see!
   Good luck to all that make resolutions...I may see some of you at the gym this week...Ha. Not. There are some mince pies and clotted cream left, I'm off to munch my way through those.