Tag Archives: reading

Me and Mr G…and Voodoo Dolls

25 Apr

In the past year I have been in the privileged position to work closely with a writer whilst he wrote his entire first novel.

From the first chapter, i provided feedback on plot, characterisation, language, continuity…proofreading. Not your typical way of doing things, but that is what we did. Last month, I received the final installment of this first draft. Much to both mine and the writers surprise, the word count exceeded 137,000 words.

Why am I telling you this?

Well obviously once this novel has gone through the full editing procedure it will be the bestseller of our time. It will rival the sales of Harry Potter, its series will be found in libraries in hundreds of years, hailed as a classic.

No not quite (although it is quite brilliant). This journey I have been part of has taught me a lot about dedication, commitment, and being in the real world as a writer.

You see, me and my writer friend, lets call him Mr G (ha) started our ‘writing careers’ at the same time. Where as I have embraced blogging and networking, Mr G has continued with his commitments away from writing, held down a part time job, and has just been accepted on a post graduate degree programme in creative writing.  Mr G does not have a family to care for, the need to work full time, the desire to have a career today as the years are passing by quickly. Other than wanting to write, mine and Mr G’s lives are very different.

So, what I did find surprising then, was that Mr G, with what to me seems like an eternity of time, did not write to a daily word count, did not measure his success on how much was achieved in an overall time scale, did not, well did not have any rules.

Mr G would take a couple of months off, then he would churn out multiple chapters on a daily basis. Mr G in September told me that he had to continue, he had got so far after all, and then didn’t produce anything until January. Mr G did not beat himself up.

Whats my point? Well, I have been pondering this whole blogging malarkey. I know, FACT, I don’t write like I should as I write my blog post when I get time. I also know, FACT, it is blogging that spurs me on. remember No Way Out, well nothing kills me more than knowing I haven’t written the next installment, eventually the guilt becomes such that I find some drive.

This is not a post of oh I have no motivation, oh I will write soon, whats the world coming to, not at all. This post is about embracing the diversity of our own approaches, to do things our way. We shouldn’t feel guilty for not writing. We should feel smug if we manage to churn out 5,000 words in one day. We should just feel how we feel, and not allow the pressures of the blogging community/twitter etc to make us feel we are doing something wrong. we should be pleased for fellow writers when they achieve something, not secretly stab pins in the makeshift dolls we have sat on the shelf above our computers….oh just me?!

(If you were the blogger last week chatting about writing goals give me the heads up – I wanted to include a link but can’t find you!!!)

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No Way Out – The First Installment

20 Mar

After several false starts, I finally have the first installment of ‘No Way Out’ that I would like to share with you.

It has not received even what I class as a first edit, as I am not ready, nor have I written enough to begin that process. So take it as you will. I shall continue to write in this format and share it with you. remember this is OUR project so if you can see me heading in a direction that you don’t feel works, or perhaps my characters are unbelievable, please shout it out.

The tears poured down her face. The pain, or was it just discomfort was more than she had ever dared imagine possible. It wasn’t supposed to be like this. Surely the guilt of her actions was enough.

The nurses were kind enough. If she allowed herself to think it, she may even say caring, but how they couldn’t be judging her right now she didn’t know.

As she was wheeled into the next room, she kept her eyes closed. Slowly they helped her into a wheelchair, and then pushed her into a lift upstairs to a room to recover. They all spoke to one another, jovially talking about their plans for the weekend whilst she sat there praying for a distraction. The distraction never came, but who would be listening to her right now. They had said when she came in she was lucky, normally the bible bashers were hanging around outside, but maybe, just maybe, that would have made her feel better. At least it would have been a sign that this just wasn’t OK.

***

Steve busied himself in the kitchen. He could hear CBeebies coming from the lounge; the jolly jingles a contrast to his and his wife’s feelings of despair. Gently stirring the tomato soup Steve berated himself. Just the day before, he and his boss had shared a bottle of champagne in the office. Once again Steve had made salesman of the year for the UK, and was shortly to hear if he had indeed been awarded the coveted international prize. Without mortgage, debt, but a beautiful wife, a three year old son and a recently confirmed pregnancy, Steve felt as if the world had turned on its axis.

The celebrations had come too early, just seeing Poppy’s face as he had walked in the door the evening before had confirmed this error.

Pouring the hot soup into a bowl, Steve felt a movement behind him.

‘Daddy’ questioned the small voice of his son, ‘why is mummy crying?’

Crouching down low, Steve pulled Michael into him, ‘Mummy is just poorly, she just needs lots of hugs to make her better’

Seeming to accept this answer, Michael pulled away and went back through to the lounge. Steve followed with the soup, hoping that these little gestures would help make everything OK.

***

‘Will you just go back to work?’ Poppy hissed at Steve, the frustration of the past five week’s nonstop companionship smacking the air

Steve turned to Poppy, confusion on his face, ‘But I thought you needed me here?’

‘Just go.’

Poppy was seething. Unable to return to work herself until Steve stopped fussing, Poppy felt as if the world had been torn away from her. Isolated, lonely yet always in company, Poppy just craved normality. Actually, she just craved her time to be the person she had always been, the person that was only ever allowed to escape at work. The person that since meeting Steve had been locked away. It wasn’t his fault, well, he never asked to change, but when she did, and she lived her life as he did his, he never commented, he never questioned why, he just allowed it to happen. Life was all about what he did and what he wanted. There wasn’t room at home for Poppy.

***

The message on the email read,

My office. Ten mins.

Steve looked through his own office window, across the sea of administrative staff and into Charles’ office. Catching his eye, Steve nodded at Charles.

Steve felt reassured. In the past Steve had fretted over this type of email, back in the day before the awards. Since then, Steve understood Charles had one way of communicating, good or bad he was never anything other than brief. There was no room for additional use of words.

Starred on his electronic calendar was an event one week ahead. It marked Steves ten years service with the company. Within the first two years, Steve had been awarded regional sales rep, by year five; he had won international sales rep. His figures stacked up. The only thing that stood between Steve and his promotion was Charles. His time would come, five years he reckoned on. Sure, he had been offered various positions, with worldwide locations. The type of position most could only ever dream of, but he had chosen to decline. His wife, the sweet, kind yet viciously ambitious Poppy had received her own promotion and there was no chance that Steve would jeopardise her career. They were a partnership and that meant both at home and work they were equal.

Have you self -published?

10 Dec

Hi all,

So this evening I have searched the ibookstore for my self published friends and have started building a little collection of works – this is my reading until Christmas when I can collect my next batch of books from my Mum. (You know the story right?)

Drop your name in the comment if you have self published and want me to download a copy – or if you wish to recommend a work.

Why? Well, obviously I need something to read, but, I feel a little guilty. So many of you have released works but I have been too ‘busy’ to jump on to downloading straight away – lame I know! I am ready now, so ‘it is time’.

By the way, I am not after freebies, just suggestions!

I look forward to seeing my new reading list.

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!

Mary Higgins Clark – Let me Call You Sweetheart

21 Oct

I have read Higgins Clarks work for as long as I can remember. I was hooked from the first book, and have quite often sat down to indulge in some afternoon TV for the adaptations.

Each book has the same set up. Each ends the same way, very predictable. However, I am yet to guess the outcome on any book. Oh, and the titles I think are so similar that I almost didn’t read this one thinking I had read it some time before. I guess that’s why this blog features a reading list. Once you have it written down what you have read, you never forget.

 

Anyway, back to this book. Kerry McGrath is a prosecutor. After her daughter is injured in a traffic accident, she visits a plastic surgeon. Whilst waiting to be seen, Kerry spots a familiar looking woman exiting the surgery. When she enquires about who this lady is, the name rings no bells. Fast forward several weeks and Kerry is sat in the waiting room again. the same face appears, but is definitely not the same woman.

As Kerry digs for info, she starts releasing demons from a past trial, putting not only her own life, but her daughters too, in danger. Throughout the twists and turns you think you have it figured, just be surprised by the turn of a page.

Well done Higgins Clark, you’ve done it again.

Rachel Hore – The Dream House

7 Oct

This book had me hooked from the start. Although I thoroughly enjoyed the text, I will say it was more a personal connection that had me hooked.

Kate Hutchinson and her hubby decide to up sticks and move from London to her hubby’s home village in Norfolk. In a big romantic whir of what life would be for them, they get caught up in the oh so not important details. It is only when Kate’s hubby, who has continued to work in London starts to stay away, that the reality of the situation hits them.

Out walking the dog one evening, Kate stumbles across a house. she feels s strong connection to it. peering through the window she finds the elderly owner in need.

I will stop there. I know I will give away the ending if I continue.

The reason I say my enjoyment may well be to do with a personal connection, is because this story had one major flaw. Dreams, mystical links, coincidence – Kate had found a necklace and it turns out it is the elderly owners who just happens to be distantly related to Kate…

If you are stuck for something to read, or want something light for a holiday, then dive straight in. If you are an old romantic, then yeah, you should pick this up. If you pull a writers work to pieces, don’t bother. You will be pulling your hair out by the end.

 

Kate has no friends, no one to rely on. Yet, her surroundings are wonderful, and the kids love it.