Tag Archives: charity book

I don’t have Writers Block!!

31 Jan

I felt I needed to write another post in response to a comment about me suffering from writers block in my last post, Reflections of the toffee type.

Maybe I am in denial, but I really do not believe I have writers block. Let’s roll back the clock somewhat and see what I have achieved in the past 12 months.

Now I know many busy people have children so I am not saying ‘look at me, I’m a mummy’ but I do believe it is a valid point to be noted when we look at work levels.

So the first half of 2011 saw me completing my degree, which resulted in a first class honors and I am immensely proud of what I achieved. During that time, I completed A Simple Guide to Self Publishing, and tried real hard to promote it blah blah blah.

I also had a ten thousand word creative writing project in which I started my first novel. The result was the first three chapters and a full synopsis. Eager to continue I worked out full character bio’s, and a ‘post it note’ scene breakdown. Shortly after completing my degree, my computer died and I temporarily lost my work which by that time was at 20 odd chapters. Several months later when the work was recovered, I had lost heart in the story. If I am honest, during this time I didn’t have writers block, just writers depression. The part where you decide you cant do it, feel the effort is not worth it and wonder why you ever started.

Being sensible, I didn’t dwell on it, just chose to take a break.

During this time, I had started acting as editor for several writers, a role which I continue still.

By the end of August, I had found employment, and other than those precious hours of an evening, I didn’t get time to write.

It was at this time that ‘A Cuppa’ came along. Spotting a worthwhile project, I grabbed it with both hands and worked non stop (at least three hours every evening, on top of the kids and my day job). This finished in December and I think it is fair to say I collapsed. I had done too much, too quickly.

But I still wasn’t writing. Now we are on the eve of February, and I still haven’t put pen to paper.

That doesn’t mean however that I have writers block. Far from it. The recent posts that have been based around food (unintentionally) have been more about me getting back into writing, blogging, just testing the water. How much time can I commit? What should I allow my limit to be? Am I ready to go again?

Take a deep breath, yes, yes I am. And I am really quite excited.

I have two projects burning away, just waiting for me to say go. This time I have had has provided me with some fantastic thinking time, without pressure, and the stories and ideas have developed gradually.

The first project will involve you. It is still formulating, and I need to gather some more research and prepare a study plan. But it is looking promising. Whether it will work only time will tell but I am rather quite excited.

The other project will be a script, a series for TV. It is based in a uni, think the Inbetweeners but older, but from the staff point of view. If my idea continues to develop as it stands, the basis of the uni will become less of a factor, as the characters really do tell their own story.

Am I mad sharing my idea? Will somebody steal it? Well, if they do then I will take it as a compliment. As they say, no idea is original, it is the way you tell it that’s important.

I haven’t been a writer for the past six months or so, and this does not worry me. Sure I have had wobbles, slight panics that the dream was sliding out of sight, but there is always more to be had. Writing takes time, but it isn’t just the telling of the story, it is the formulating, the preparation, the time to watch the world.

Anyway, I am here, I am dipping in and out but I am thinking, always thinking. I hope you are too.

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A Cuppa Book Launch is happening now!

8 Dec

The book launch is on now http://www.facebook.com/ACuppaandAnArmchair/posts/207771662637092#!/events/256764657711969/

Come and show your support – tell us what biscuits you like to dunk in your cuppa!

The book launch!

5 Dec

It is almost time for me to hang up my…my what? I am not sure, but it is nearing the end of my journey with A Cuppa and An Armchair.

I shall compress the files, tidy the emails, sort the blog and close the computer. We are done.

Yeah right!

Thursday is the official book launch day, yay! Please do pop on by www.facebook.com/acuppaandanarmchair and get involved with the book launch. Invite your friends, chat to authors, learn more about the ‘behind the scenes’ events.

When you are on the page, you will see a schedule emerging, as each author/artist lets us know when they will be online. I am quite excited by this event. It marks an end to a really involved project that i have enjoyed tremendously.

If nothing else, pop by the page to join in the cheer that this side of things is finally done – time to move on. Guessing you are all getting pretty sick of this project now.

Ha ha, it’s not over though is it? Of course not. You all know about the children’s books that are released at Easter, so I won’t rehash the information. It will definitely though have another name, under the umbrella of a cuppa. Actually, I don’t know. I feel pretty brain-dead at the mo…definitely need a rest.

 

So without further ado, we hope you come and visit our event on Thursday evening. See you there!

Time for my CUPPA!

27 Nov

A cup of tea and a slice of chocolate cake is waiting for me. You cannot begin to imagine how long I have dreamt about sitting down to enjoy such simplicity without the computer switched on, or nagging thoughts running around my mind.

Today is a special day, no, today is an amazing day. Finally, I can put my feet up and say, I have earned this!

What am I talking about? Well A Cuppa and an Armchair of course. It has totally consumed me over the last couple of months. I have literally put the kids to bed and started working every evening, switching the computer off as I get nudged and told it is time for bed.

My lunch breaks have been taken up by meetings or responding to emails, research and more. The most hilarious moment for me was when in a moment of panic I decided it was time to refer to the how to guides…it wasn’t long before A Simple Guide became a much needed reference. (Shameless plug but honestly, it was a permanent fixture on my iPad)

As with all projects, I had two little voices, the one that said give up, you never agreed to this much work, and the other one that said, you have told the world what you are doing, why you are doing it, and those that have chosen to be part of this trust you. They believe in you.

That is an almighty burden that I never envisaged. I never contemplated letting other people down at the beginning. When this started, it was about a charity called Equipe and raising money. Today, and I reached this conclusion sometime back, I can say this book is not about Equipe, it is about the writers and artists and everyone in between who got involved and took this opportunity and really made it something special. Equipe getting the money for each sale is just an added bonus now. (Don’t hate me for that but really, there is no book without such wonderful people).

So does this mean we have a release date? Ha ha ha. No. Lol! I should receive the proof on Wednesday and as soon as that is in my hands and I have checked it we will get a date that it will be available for sale. I can’t say it will be before Christmas, I have bene told we may mange it still, but lets just keep our fingers crossed. By the way, the proof I am referring to is the paperback without images. The paperback with images may be a few days later as I am waiting on an email.

(What? Two books? Urgh, long story but basically with images has ended up relatively expensive so we opted for two books to give customer choice – ebook is with images!)

Where will you be able to buy it – pretty much everywhere online, in bookstores you will need to preorder!!

The ebook is now on its way to the various distributors but is available on smashwords today. (I know, I know we should wait for an official release but I am kinda excited here!!!) The ebook is selling for $2.99. It will be available on Amazon in this format, but I have handed over the last bit of ‘faff’ to my husband – seriously my eyes will just give up and maintain a continued blurriness for the rest of forever and beyond is I sit there trying to understand all that not so difficult techniques they mumble on about…..sorry I am just not very good at tech!

I am not so stupid that I expect everything to run smoothly from here. I know that there will be glitches in the text that will need sorting – if there wasnt I would be very suspicious. I know I still have a heap load of PR that I need to get through, but you know what, we are almost there and at times I didn’t think we would reach this stage so big round of applause to all involved.

Now I know I have previously given thanks to various people, but time to do it again, in full.

Andrew Blair    

Mike Norbury

Cora Beth Carter

Gavin Hayes

Rachel Stevenson

Charlotte E. English

Gethin Morgan

Michelle Payne

Alicia Cunningham

Alan Lloyd

Chelsea Sutherland

Danielle Shipley  

Melanie Kerr

J.S. Wilsoncroft     

Daniel Challinor

Skyler Luttrell

Nick Deglar

Lawrence Chadwick -Smith

Danielle Zwissler

Carol Hoare

Jack Kempster

Darryl Robertson

Brian Burke

Cara Branigan

Leigh Gembus

A massive thank you also to all that have shown support and follow us on Facebook – you guys are amazing!

Proofreaders!!!!!

16 Nov

Quick plea. I have seven outstanding short stories for the charity project A Cuppa and An Armchair that I need proofreading by Friday. If you can help please drop me an email at ellieransley@gmail.com

That charity book – A Cuppa

14 Nov

Hello.

For some reason I feel quite shy writing this. Like someone that has been outside the community for so long and is trying to creep back in without making a big noise…ha!

OK, so it hasn’t been that long since I posted, but boy does it feel like a lifetime. I have been so busy, but so filled with ideas….it is always the way, if I had long empty evenings stretching in front of me I am pretty certain my brain would be dead for ideas.

Just to prove how mad things are – I actually have come up with not only an idea for the next WIP – but a business proposal. I know, tis truly shockin the way my mind works.

So let’s get on with it then, the CUPPA update.

Today I received the first illustration to go with one of the stories. Yes that’s right, we are including illustrations with the ‘grown ups’ book. (Quick note, I don’t know why I refer to it as the grown up book but the adult book feels like its going to be a bit naughty – which it most definitely isn’t).

So what we have been after are just single images, almost like a book cover for each story. We are welcoming photos also….anyway, I am getting off track here. the image was amazing. Well, I thought so, it made me smile and that’s is all I ask for. The fact that the artist then pinpointed the exact part of the story that he had drawn inspiration for was just the icing on the cake. I have a further 6 or 7 images (fingers crossed) that shall be arriving with me in the next few days. I just can’t wait. It is really exciting opening your emails, never knowing what you will get.

It is a shame we cannot have an image for every story, but each one has been given to an illustrator. If inspiration doesn’t come, it can’t be forced. I am sure we can all relate to that.

Among others, Charlotte English has been busy proofreading stories. Once we have everything together, Submeg, will be attempting the formatting for us. Thank goodness for Sub else we would be in big trouble – well I would, a full week of hair pulling i do believe.

There are many sites and people who I would love to link to, but I am not 100% sure on where everything stands at this stage. I think I shall at a later date, provide a list of everyone that has helped, what they did, and the links to their sites.

This week, I shall be focusing on compiling the last bits and bobs, sending emails, and of course, really hitting the PR. This is something I am confident about, I just need to be clearheaded to work solidly on it. So apologies for another Cuppa update, but I needed to pass on the information just to know I was free to concentrate this week.

With regards to the children’s stories, I am certain I have mentioned it, but we decided to release that work Easter 2012. We will be releasing them as individual books, fully illustrated, and if….the big if….I pull it off, they will also be released as fully interactive apps. Yeah, I know.

Anyway, keep in touch. I am reading blogs but being a silent observer. watching, listening, stealing ideas lol!

Oh and the listings are;

Who do you think I am? – Mike Norbury, Conspiracy Theory #92, A Second Chance – Gavin Hayes, Fate – Cora Beth Carter, The Land of Noc Noc – Andrew Blair, A Daring Debut – Charlotte English, Family Fortunes – Rachael Stevenson, Dirt – Gethin Morgan, Raindrops – Michelle Payne, Ghost Girl – Alicia Cunningham, Must be the music – Alan Lloyd, The Kalistanian Princess – Chelsea Sutherland, Along for the ride – Danilelle Shipley, The healing well – Melanie Kerr, Dorothy – J S Wilsoncroft, The Music Box – Daniel Challinor

A Cuppa – We Are Well On Our Way

4 Nov

We finally reached the date of announcements, well that should be we finally reached announcements, but we are there. Authors have been notified, information sought, and now we are in the process of contacting the proofreader, illustrators and sorting out all the other odds and sods.

Oh who am I kidding? Now the hard work begins.

Lets just go back a bit, before we talk plans. We at Cuppa HQ were simply overwhelmed by the response we received for this project. The stories came in faster than expected, and as many of you know, due to demand, we even had to extend the submission date. Some may say we were mad, but really, this is, without sounding cheesy, your project, so you should be given every opportunity to be involved.

One thing we have lacked on though is children’s stories. A notoriously difficult genre to write for, we didn’t even reach enough submissions to complete the full book as we had wanted. However, every submission received was of outstanding quality. We are still finalising the details about what we will do, but it is certain the children’s stories will be released during 2012, possibly around Easter, but a promo code will be given to everyone that purchases the ‘grown ups’ book during December to receive a free copy/discount.

The book to be released in December will contain 22 short stories. As I am still waiting for confirmation emails,, I am holding off the announcement for whose work is included and the titles. I was tempted to announce them as I had the thumbs up from the author but felt this was not the best idea. I learnt early on that it is best wait a few days, than to jump ahead. Removing impulse removes the fun somewhat but hey ho, I have a responsibility now to make sure this is right.

The selection of stories was a very hard process that I hadn’t foreseen. I imagined the panel selecting the same stories – not at all. There was one that I absolutely decided could not be included, and it stuck with me, it was the only one I wanted to discuss. However, this same story was an absolute must of another panel member. Strange inst it? Especially seen as we were trying to mark not just as a good read, but quality of writing also. just goes to show, what is one mans art is another mans rubbish.

Oh, side note here, I secretly submitted one of my stories…it was REJECTED!!!

Overall, the difficulties for the panel with such diverse choices I feel shows the quality of the work. Inevitably, provided with enough choice, you will sway towards your preference of genre, and I do believe it has resulted in a wide-ranging choice of stories for the reader.

Our next steps to take is making everything shiny. clean up the grammar, add some finishing touches, and then my favourite headache, formatting. I am already dreading this stage, I am just not very technically minded. I promised myself i was going to have the time to sit down and follow the step by step instructions, and do it myself. I know once I have mastered it, I will be fine. However, seen as in the last two weeks I have scarcely had chance to deal with my work, as well as reading my favourite blogs, I am unsure that I will have this opportunity, so what to do?

I guess another plea. If you have completed formatting for ebooks, would you like to attempt this for us? I know I know, why would you want to, but I guess for some people it is enjoyable…another mans art and all that.

Short explanation: as this is a charity book we have applied for funding. However, the process has taken longer than anticipated and we are now working on a full zero funding budget.

Which is an absolute kicker. One of our authors works for Waterstones. It has been requested that his own store stock the book, and they would be willing to talk with the buying department – the aim being to stock it nationally (this is how I interpreted it). Erm, sure yes. let’s do this properly. lets not pass up this potential opportunity. Erm, oh, no funding to print off stock. (ENTER EXPLICIT HERE).

Initially we had thought we could work around this problem if it arose, now Cuppa HQ are running around like crazy to make sure this problem is overcome.

Definitely keeping fingers crossed.

One other thing is we have decided we would like to include illustrations and photos within the centre of the book. Ideally they should be related to the idea of the project, be thought-provoking, or be related to one of the stories. I shall be writing a list of story related themes for you to work to if you would like to be involved in this.

As always, if anyone has any questions, please email me at ellieransley@gmail.com

A Cuppa And An Armchair - Available December 2011