In Memory of Dad

IMG_1188It’s been four weeks since I said goodbye to my dad, Bob, following a short but cruel illness. Although his passing in a way was expected you never really want to let a loved one go. We say we do, Continue reading

Writing Productivity

Measuring Productivity Words Alone?
Measuring Productivity Words Alone?

We’re told often that to be a writer is ‘to write every day’. This is born out by the habits and commitments of many talented and successful authors. But are words the only way to measure our productivity? This is what I think… Continue reading

Creating a Story Bible

storage-1209059__180Writing stories of whatever length, can mean gathering a lot of information. I don’t know about you, but I think I’m organised, then spend hours looking for that one snippet of research, or a name I thought would fit, or a picture of a setting. And the longer it takes Continue reading

New Release: The Morning Gift

First one of the Daisy Plan line!
First one of the Daisy Plan line!

At the beginning of the year I set myself some challenging goals, the main one was my Daisy Chain Publication Plan. I plan to edit and publish five books during this year. The Morning Gift is the first of those five dusty manuscripts Continue reading

Establishing a (Self) Publishing Presence

Publishing Presence
Publishing Presence

If you read my post, Daisy Chain Publication Plan, at the beginning of the year you’ll know that I’ve set myself some pretty challenging writing goals for 2016. I have five projects which I plan to publish over the next twelve months, all novels which have been scribbled over the last seven (maybe ten) years.

The year did not get off to a good start but I’m not defeated and will not be defeated. One of my goals was to set up a presence for my self published work. I could, of course, just continued with publishing under my author name. I already have two books published; The Duke’s Shadow (2014) and The Good{Expat}Life (2015), so I have form.

For me, it’s important to separate the writing from the publication. My brain already resembles a mushy mess and I work better when I divide things into compartments. I learnt, only very recently that I’m not the super duper woman I thought I was, and that multi-tasking just doesn’t work for me. How I wished I’d discovered that years ago, but there you have it. A lot of wisdom comes with fifty odd years of understanding, and accepting, myself. I enjoy all aspects of the writing process, right through from first ideas and musing along to pushing the publish button. I’m not that great at the next bit, marketing, but that’s something I’ll tackle next year.

I’m currently in the ‘production’ process of my first project of the year. The Morning Gift is set in the times of the Vikings and is a very light romance sprinkled with un-forbidden love. It was due to be published by the end of February and yes, you’ve guessed it’s now March. If you read last months posting, Reviewing Your Writing Goals, you’ll understand why. Anyway, I shall have finished formatting the manuscript for print and ebook format by tomorrow. Then just a final last glance and we’re away with my first publication of 2016.

And so, White Wolf Books, is born.

Bertie and Freya Italian Maremma's
Bertie and Freya Italian Maremma’

I thought long and hard about the name and many of the ones that came immediately to mind were already taken. I have a fascination with wolves and with their descendants; the domestic dog. We have two Italian sheepdogs, Maremma’s, who resemble wolves in very many ways. I must record our youngest, Freya, howling one day. It really is quite eery. There are many myths and legends about wolves, most famously I suppose Little Red Riding Hood (another good name perhaps!)

The other reason I chose this was because I wanted a catching image that would be recognisable with the brand. And I think this does it, don’t you?Picture3

Until Later,

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p.s. if you want to read more about the nitty gritty of my writing life, warts and all I journal (when the urge takes me) over at My Writer Within.

Reviewing Your Writing Goals

Courage: The Lion in The Wizard of Oz
Courage: The Lion in The Wizard of Oz

When I wrote my New Year blog post I knew that I’d set myself a big task and I also knew that my plans were not going to travel a straight forward path. I’ve just returned from two and a half weeks in the UK where I’ve been helping my family at a time in need. So did I fail at the first hurdle like the media predicted? Continue reading

Daisy Chain Publication Plan

At this time odaisy-583090_640f year every writer will be thinking ahead. Indeed many people, writers or not, will be thinking about what they want to happen in this fresh New Year full of opportunities and the unknown. The sceptics of setting goals and resolutions are predicting that Continue reading

Journal: 4th January 2016

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My Writer Within

Based on my last posting about changing the way I blog, this is the first of the changes. I’m going to post some short updates. Snippets of my life. About what has gone well and not so well. Just the way my day has been… short and snappy. My writer within, behind the mask.

Today I’ve been catching up. My father was taken ill and I had to make a mercy dash back to the UK just before the New Year. One of the most difficult things about living abroad is the distance from your family when things are tough. As I used to be a nurse in a long ago, previous life I find it difficult to stand back. He’s being well looked after at the moment and I can’t do anything very practical so I shall be returning when I can be of more use.quote

My writing goals are set for 2016, I shall be sharing them in a post later this week, but I’ve also set a couple of non-writing goals. One of which is to improve my Italian with a daily target of ten minutes on Duolingo,  it’s approaching 6pm and I’ve not done it. So armed with a treat (known as a glass of wine in my book) I’m going to do my first session. 

Ciao

My Writer Within

My Writer Within
My Writer Within

I’ve spent several years trying to keep up with blogging. It’s a good thing for a writer to do, I really believe that. After all, writing is what writers do and a blog is a way to develop a healthy writing habit. However, it’s something I’ve found difficult to maintain for reasons I’ve yet to fathom out.

I know I can create a writing habit and I know I can stick to it. So what is it with my blog? I think the key thing is that there are so many good blogs out there on the process of writing. The technical stuff that we writers need to know. In fact, I think many writers are very generous with their ‘gifts’ of knowledge, helping other writers by sharing what has worked for them or systems they’ve developed from the big picture to the nitty gritty. And there is a blog on every aspect of writing every week, and probably every day. That’s a lot of blogs. And I’m not sure there is room for any more. And, more to the point, I don’t want to blog about what everybody else is blogging about.

“Your beliefs become your thoughts,
Your thoughts become your words,
Your words become your actions,
Your actions become your habits,
Your habits become your values,
Your values become your destiny.”
― Mahatma Gandhi

So back to basics. The modern blog originated in the late 1990’s, not that long ago in the big scheme of things, and it progressed from the concept on an online diary or journaling. I’ve kept diaries for years, a habit that was instilled in me by my mother who regularly scribbled notebooks of all shapes and sizes; including a tiny one dating back to the mid 1950’s when she met my father.

I’m going to blog about my writer within, the face behind this committed scribophile. Like many writers, I’ve had a life ‘before writing’. I’m a daughter, a sister, a mother, an aunt and a wife (including an ex-wife). I’ve been a nurse, a manager, a human resource consultant and I’ve ran my own company. I left school with three O levels and in my late twenties I completed a Masters in Business Administration whilst working full time and a single mother of a very active five year old son.

I’m going to blog about my writing life in the context of the world around me. What’s gone well and not so well. What strengths I’ve pulled on and the times I’ve fallen of the treadmill. And I’ll be honest, I’m not doing this for anyone else but me. It’s a warts and all kind of thing. A personal record. Something that I can look back on and remember (or maybe choose to forget). Having said that, I’d be honoured to have you along…

P.S. Check out my new home for My Writer Within where I can’t promise not to ramble but hopefully share the things that make up my life behind the mask.

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Until Later,

sig for blog

New Release: The Good Expat Life

The Good Expat Life
The Good Expat Life

An exciting week as I release the first series of The Good Expat Life. This started life as a number of short vignettes about the main characters, Penny and George.

The stories are influenced by one of my all time favourite TV series in the late 1970’s (when I was very young, you understand) and sparked by some of my experiences of moving to another country and have been such fun to write.

The Good Expat Life is not a tale of renovating a tumbling down property; Penny and George live in a property classed as hovel status and have no ready cash to restore it. It is not about Prosecco by the pool; more like a treck in the wild gardens of their Italian casa. It is not about the golden, hazy days of retirement; more about learning from scratch the way to self sufficiency.

The Good Expat Life is about friendships; new and old. It is about laughter; usually at the expense of Penny and George. It is about the nuances of misunderstandings; the language, the culture and the odd malapropism (or what George fondly refers to as ‘Pennyisms).

Penny and GeorgeReaders Comments:

‘I love these guys…always good for a laugh!’
‘Very funny. The dialogue keeps the pace up.’
‘What a great opening – man shackled to a lamp post. I loved it. ‘
‘I had a smile on my face reading this, all the way through.’

Available in the following formats: