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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.

WRITING OBSESSION = JUST NUTS

Sometimes during a rare night of deep sleep, I dream about some cracking plotlines and try to wake myself up to write them down.  More often than not, when I do manage to wake myself up, I can’t remember them.

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?  

JUST SAY IT – EXTRACT: Mother-Daughter Spat

‘How would I know Mother?  I haven’t seen him for eleven years. But you can’t be serious?  Why on earth would you want to look good for anybody interested in me? Is it some sort of sexual fantasy you have? I don’t have to dress up like a bloody tart to attract a man. I want somebody to love me for who I am and not what you look like! I’ve read The Female Eunuch, and I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings.  I also know what I want to do with my life, and I don’t have to dress up like a bloody Barbie doll to achieve it.  For God’s sake, Mother, why do you always have to talk such bloody rubbish?  I don’t have time to go clothes shopping and please, close the door on your way out.’

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.

AUTHOR INTERVIEW: Dreena Collins – Stories for the Modern World

For the first Author Interview of 2020, it gives me great pleasure to introduce you to one of my fellow Jersey Writers Social Group members, Dreena Collins. In September last year, Dreena entertained a packed Maria Richie Room at the Jersey Arts Centre, during the 2019 Jersey Festival of Words captivating us all with her engaging wit, and her passion for creative writing.

During 2019, Dreena self-published three volumes of her excellent short stories and flash fiction, The Blue Hour, The Day I Nearly Drowned and, most recently Bird Wing. The Amazon reviews alone are glowing.

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

2019 – An Honest Review

As 2019 draws to a close, is been a year rejections for Just Say It, my pantser-style first attempt at a novel.  But I am, older, tougher and wiser now; I can take criticism on the chin (crying emoji!).  So, I will say goodbye to 2019 feeding off the constructive criticism and positive feedback I’ve received during the year.

BROKEN

The last two weeks of my life are a blur. Flickering in my mind like a black and white cine film. I am running. Travelling at night under the cloak of darkness. Slithering out of the United States, escaping from the injustice thrust upon me.

STAR-CROSSED LOVERS

Elizabeth was born in her grandparent’s cottage on the Ditton Hall Estate owned by Viscount Rutherford.  Her mother, Gertrude, was the eldest daughter of Walter Clemmens, Rutherford’s gamekeeper and her father, Edward Campbell, was Rutherford’s son. Poles apart on the social scale, but bound together by a love so strong nothing could tear them apart.

JUST SAY IT – EXTRACT: New Life

8th October 1959 The day a young Margaret Thatcher first became an MP for Finchley, Elizabeth’s waters finally broke in front of the Aga in the kitchen.  She was way over her due date, and Anna had rung a few times during the proceeding weeks, asking if she was okay Continue Reading

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.

CHARACTER INSIGHT: Edna Fowler

Edna Fowler is one of my favourite characters from An Honest Review, every inch of her reminds me of Patricia Routledge’s Hyacinth Bucket. 

Edna is a member of DAWG, the Didsbrook Authors and Writers Group and is blessed with an unwavering self-belief that she is about to join the ranks of world-renown authors.  She is convinced she is Didsbrook’s answer to J. K. Rowling, hence her rather suspect non-de-plume.  

Losing the Plot? Dare to Dream

As the cogs start to turn and 2019 rolls into 2020, changes are afoot here at Lost Blogs.  It will be a new chapter in the life of this pantser-style blog, as its creator evolves into the Plotter she always knew she should be.

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. 

JUST SAY IT – EXTRACT: Fisticuffs at Fanny’s

It is the 8th of October 1980, and it’s Lisa Grant’s twenty-first birthday.  She has recently been reunited with her father, Fergus, who lays on a party for her at her favourite restaurant in Soho, Fanny’s Bistro.   The tables are hastily rearranged to accommodate two uninvited guests, Lisa’s mother, Continue Reading

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.

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