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How to Get My (Writing) Mojo Back

In January, I was in full steam ahead writing-mode.  I honestly believed I could finish book number two by the end of April. I was writing with a confidence I had never felt before, and it was a fantastic feeling. Unfortunately, my purple patch fizzled out about 3 weeks ago as the Coronavirus shit really began to hit the fan.

Perhaps I had been blinkered up to that point? Hoping Covid-19 would just go away.

Now just doesn’t feel like the right time to be writing a murder mystery spoof.  So, it’s not actually the curse of the writer’s block that is to blame; it’s the Coronavirus Curse.  The inability to focus on the writing that I love.

A Shout-out to all my Writer Friends

How are you getting on out there? I’ve been wondering how we can best support each other through this surreal time.

At the beginning of this year, I rattled off the first 25,000 words of my WIP in double-quick time. I felt unstoppable, thinking I was on my way to achieving a personal-best NaNoWriMo moment. Then I stalled.

The Wind of Change

We half-ran through the bustling streets, hand in hand. The soft, south-westerly wind carried the pungent smells of cooking meat and bubbling sauces into our faces, reminding us that it’s time to eat, and we are spoilt for choice.   Neon lights flash around us, the pounding heartbeat of the Continue Reading

JUST SAY IT – EXTRACT: The Spark of a Flame

Jack put Lisa down gently on the spare bed in his sister’s room that she had used since she was a child, before kneeling down to study her face.  She looked so vulnerable.  Hypnotised by the rise and fall of her chest, the beat of his heart accelerated, taking him by surprise. The urge to lie down next to her and hold her in his arms was overwhelming. Why hadn’t he realised before that she was so beautiful?  

My Love of Bovine Beasties

It’s just dawned on me that cows feature in both Just Say It and An Honest Review.  I was brought up on a dairy farm, so maybe that’s the reason? Coincidently, my main character in Just Say It grows up on a dairy farm with a herd of Dairy Shorthorn cattle, Continue Reading

JUST SAY IT – THE OUTTAKES – Turning Forty

Cupping her hands underneath her breasts, she pushed them up slightly then let them go. Gravity deemed the only way for them to flop was south. She remembered having been inspired by those liberated ladies of the Swinging Sixties who, allegedly, threw all caution to the wind and made a bonfire of their bras. Letting her perky little darlings live free two decades ago might have seemed like a good idea at the time, but that invigorating liberation was having a knock-on effect now.

So, you’ve finished writing your novel? Well, here is Cautionary Tale

I am just about to come to the end of what will be the final edit of… Draft number 12 of my first novel… I think it’s number 12, but I’ve lost count. So I’m a long way off seeing my book in print, let alone watching Renée Zellweger win another gong for playing the part of my MC and thanking me in her acceptance speech.

ANY BETA READERS OUT THERE?

I am half-way through yet another Just Say It edit. I should be finished by the end of the week and wondered if there are any Beta Readers out there who might have the time to read through it for me. Its currently 90,540 words. Just Say It is about the volatile relationship Continue Reading

For Gemma Dupont – Please care, and share. Thank you.

Earlier this year, I met Gemma Dupont, who is a part of my Word Press blogging family, as well as a fellow aspiring author.  Enthusiastic, bright and bubbly; her motto has always been… caring is sharing.

Gemma very recently finished writing her memoir, Perpetual Helix, all bar one final, professional edit. She is so close, yet so far away from achieving her dream to see it in print.

This week, Gemma has received a truly devastating diagnosis. Stage 4 lung and brain cancer.

Gemma urgently needs an editor who would be willing to get the manuscript to the stage where Gemma can, at least, self-publish, as a legacy for her partner and her children.

Emanuel Andrei Cosutchi – Sci-Fi, inventing things that don’t exist

Emanuel Andrei Cosutchi is a Sci-Fi and Fantasy author from Romania. Emanuel is another author I have ‘met’ through the blogosphere, and I am delighted to welcome him to Lost Blogs, to chat with us about his writing.

JUST SAY IT – EXTRACT: Into Exile

The year is 1965 and, despite her own infidelity, Elizabeth divorces Fergus after exposing his love affair with fellow polo player, Thomas. Fergus and Thomas are made to feel outcasts amongst their friends and are banished from their homes, which makes it impossible for them to stay in the UK.  Fergus hears about a remote, ailing vineyard inland from Guia in the Algarve, in need of a little renovation, and they leave the UK to start a new life together in Portugal.

JUST SAY IT – EXTRACT: Going the Wrong Way

After seventeen years apart, Lisa realises she is still in love with Jack, but after he misinterprets a fond farewell between Lisa and Rory, he flounces off home to NYC.  This extract is the lead up to the agonising moment Jack realises he has got things horribly wrong.  When you realise what Continue Reading

Author Interview: Gila Green – Gritty, yet shimmering stories

Thanks to the wonders of the Internet, I very recently ‘met’ the Canadian author, Gila Green, who is based in Israel.  Since then, I’ve got to know her a little better, as she kindly agreed to be interviewed.

To date, Gila has written four novels, and her work has been shortlisted for many awards, which is no surprise.  Her books focus on everyday people tackling immigration, racism, alienation, war, politics, romance, poverty, terrorism, and surviving.  After I read those words, I was instantly drawn.

Gila was a joy to interview, honest, funny and an example to us all in terms of her gutsy determination to see her work in print. She finishes up the interview with a few of her top tips for us aspiring writers.

JUST SAY IT – EXTRACT: Learning the Hard Way (Writer’s Revenge)

The year is 1963 and Lisa Grant is four-years-old. Her mother, Elizabeth, has hatched a plan with two families living down the road from to employ a governess to teach Lisa and the neighbours’ young daughters.  I confess I am guilty of a case of writer’s revenge when I wrote this, Continue Reading

JUST SAY IT – EXTRACT: Arthur’s Revenge

The reading of Arthur’s Will was expected to be straightforward and that he would dutifully leave his fortune to his grieving widow.  A few minutes before her outburst, Lisa had been fighting to control her anger and Elizabeth, as usual, was the focus of her irritation. She’d arrived late, dressed like the Queen about to meet a head of state but, thankfully, not wearing a hat. She waited for the solicitor to pull up a chair for her and sat in wide-eyed anticipation waiting for the reading to start, whilst stifling the odd theatrical tear. 

CHARACTER INSIGHT – DCI Humphrey Middleton

The Endeavour Morse infatuated DCI Humphrey Middleton arrives in the sleepy market town of Didsbrook to investigate the unexplained death of its highest-profile resident, Jocelyn Robertshaw. In this sequence, he looks over the crime scene, and the corpse, and we find out that, when Humphrey first meets a cadaver, he likes to engage in a little one-sided banter.

Author Interview: Becci Murray

Christmas is coming and finding presents for the younger members of our families is at the forefront of our minds.  Today, we have a great idea for the 8-12-year-olds in your lives, the recently published Billy’s Brain Booster Juice which, as the reviews will tell you is… a rip-roaring tale!!  Perfect for 8-12-year-olds.

It gives me great pleasure to introduce you to Billy’s creator, the author Becci Murray from Gloucestershire. Becci has written sketches for children’s television, along with theatre plays for a children’s drama company and now, Billy’s Brain Booster Juice.

CHARACTER INSIGHT – Elizabeth Galsworthy-Grant, nee Campbell

The first time he invited her back to his flat for a drink after a cocktail party to celebrate the New Year, she took advantage of his inebriated state. He flopped on to the sofa next to her, and she turned toward him, straddling his lap and pinning him down. Covering his mouth with hers, he felt he couldn’t breathe. Although way out of his comfort zone, being pounced on by an eighteen-year-old siren with the sexual appetite of a tigress, resistance was futile. If he had any doubts about the morality of his seduction, Elizabeth had no intention of giving him any time to think about it.

In the foggy waking moments of his hangover the following day, he dismissed what had happened between them for what it was, drunk sex. It would never happen again. He only had a few weeks left in London, and he would make sure he kept a low profile.

CHARACTER INSIGHT – Fergus Grant

The year is 1958 and my main character, Lisa Grant, has not yet been born.  I would like to introduce you to her charismatic young father, Fergus. On the brink adulthood, he is still enjoying his carefree life before he meets the force of nature that is Lisa’s mother, Elizabeth.

Leaving the Pantser in Me Behind

In June 2016 an idea for a book I’d been carrying around in my head for years, began clogging up my thought process.  I needed to write it, a.s.a.p. and, as luck would have it… I was made redundant.  So I threw myself into writing Just Say It.

After I started it, I realised I had little else apart from the main character and, after writing the first draft, she was beginning to sound alarmingly like me.  The pantser-style first draft was nothing more than an autobiographical unburdening of my life to date, with a large dollop of post-redundancy frustration on top.

After a total overhaul of the original manuscript my MC, Lisa Grant, thankfully, took on a life of her own.  It took me four and a half years to finish her story.  The storyline often going off at tangents, which produced unrealistic MC goals and hours of frustrating rewrites.

Innocent Until Proven Guilty

DCI Humphrey Middleton has been brought in to investigate an unexplained death in the sleepy market town of Didsbrook. An in this sequence, he and Didsbrook’s own Sargeant Mackorkingdale, interview their first suspect.

GRAMMARLY – A Sort of Review

I am grateful to Word Press for introducing me to Grammarly.

I have been resisting the temptation to buy it and download it onto my Mac, having successfully convinced myself that I would buy it as some sort of reward after I

a) Got shortlisted for a competition or

b) Found myself an agent

Exhilarating​ – The Jersey Festival of Words 2019

Yesterday I went to four sessions at the Jersey Festival of Words, it was the day for me to soak up the words of wisdom, as well as support, local writing talent and hopes of coming away with a better understanding of what literary agents are looking for.

EXTRACT FROM An Honest Review – Character Insight – Lucy Fothergill

I was born on 11th July 1998, which coincidentally, is World Population Day.   My mother, Joan, had been marvelling at the content of the Fresh Produce section of Didsbrook’s brand new Coop when her waters broke.  Legend has it, my father, George, with the help of the store manager, bundled her into a trolley and wheeled her across the cobbled market place to the Didsbrook Cottage Hospital.  Shortly after they wheeled her in, I popped out and the World Population counter flipped over to add one more.

THE DILEMMA: Traditional v Self-Publishing

Without an agent, your labour of love, AKA your novel, isn’t going anywhere and, with each rejection, you are engulfed by an overwhelming urge to self-publish. A few of your friends, as well as people you have never met, have read it and given you favourable feedback, but if your MS isn’t attracting an agent, then maybe you should think twice as to whether your labour of love is worthy of self-publication.

Over a million authors self-published during 2017, so there is plenty of competition out there.  But, before you chuck your manuscript in the bin, be buoyed up by this…

Stephen King’s first big novel, Carrie, was rejected 30 times. He tossed it in the wastebasket but his wife fished it out. He earned $39 million in 2012.

I am impatient, true to my birth sign, Aries, but my dotage years are too close for comfort, so I need to get on and resolve my dilemma. Cultivating patience and continue to try and find an agent to work with, or give way to my impatience and join the ever-swelling ranks of the self-published? 

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