Monday 28 August 2017

Piled High Plate

At the moment I have several large non-writing events waiting to happen in my life. I'm trying to move house, get my son enrolled in a new school, move hospitals for my prenatal care and prepare for a brand new baby. It's quite a hefty plate. And it's driving me insane because I can't get stuck into anything. It's like having a box of Krispy Kreme doughnuts that you can only look at and never touch. Not even sniff.

Things you want but can't have

The one thing that has managed to hang together quite nicely is my work life. I've managed to pick up all those balls I dropped (Dropping the Ball May 2017) and I'm even managing to achieve some new mini goals.

I've entered a few competitions, submitted a couple of pieces for online publication and began to write a new short story. I'm reading articles, sharing tips and even, finally, getting onto the podcast trail. Just listening at the moment but you never know what the future will bring.

The more items I tick off my writing to-do list the more in control and focused I feel. There is still a mountain of work to conquer, I have grand plans but in the last week I've had two new story ideas and begun to think about the bare bones of a possible series. Clearly having a full plate is good for my creative brain.

I hope that when things start moving on the regular life front I won't have to lose this motivation and focus in order to achieve those goals. I can do both - can't I? Share with me your coping mechanisms, any and all cake recipes gratefully received.

A million and one ideas

Monday 21 August 2017

I love you Beta Reader!

Do you think that will work? Or will a more substantial bribe like some kind of cake do the trick?

Beta reader bribe

I have finally, finally finished editing The Rose Thief. Most of the time between now and when I finished writing it has been filled with a multitude of procrastination and the odd bout of illness. But now, now it has been edited. To the best or worst of my ability.

Self-editing is tough. Being critical of your own work tends to lead to downward spirals of thinking I can't write, what am I doing, this isn't a book it's toilet paper and so on. Writers are delicate flowers you know.

Writers doubt

Enter the beta reader. They are, more often than not, someone you know who enjoys reading and isn't afraid to speak their mind. If you're really lucky they might be indie authors themselves or have some other writing or publishing experience. The important thing is that they're not your mum. Mums are great, don't get me wrong but they might not be the best person to ask for a critique of your latest masterpiece. They're your mum, they're going to tell you it's amazing no matter what.

And so I have released my newest creation to my betas. I hope they enjoy it and even though I'm not sure I really want it, I hope they are brutal in their evaluation to help me release the best version of my latest book that I can. But not too brutal because you know, delicate flower.

Have you had good or bad experiences with beta readers? Share your experiences in the comments below and have a sneak peek of The Rose Thief here.

Sunday 13 August 2017

Flashing for the first time

Before you get all excited I did not run starkers across a sports field of some kind. No, what I'm talking about it flash fiction. Something I knew about in a sorta, kinda, yeah yeah yeah way but not something that I'd actively got involved with before.

Recently I was offered the opportunity to write a 500-word piece for a guest blog spot and I could no longer punt leisurely round the outside of this new exciting vortex of words. I had to take the plunge.

Flash Fiction

So what exactly is flash fiction then? Sadly it's not writing from the perspective of Flash Gordon or indeed The CW's lovable Barry Allen. According to Wikipedia (yes, I know):

Flash fiction is fictional work of extreme brevity, that still offers character and plot development, including the Six-Word Story, 140-character stories, also known as twitterature, the dribble (50 words), the drabble (100 words), and sudden fiction (750 words).

Sounds super easy and straight forward. I instantly remembered an idea I'd had that I thought might work and when I mused upon it to my beloved he piped up with - yes, but how are you going to write that? And so instantly writers doubt crept in, making itself at home, settling down and refusing to budge.

Suddenly 500-words felt like an insurmountable amount. Not wanting to give up, I did what I always do. I ignored the problem and had some cake. But I also let my subconscious do it's thing and wrestle with the concept until something coalesced. I look forward to sharing it with you soon.

In the meantime, here is the link to the wonderful blog that is Working Title Blogspot where you can read other flashes of literary genius as they share their own snippets.

Sunday 6 August 2017

How To ... join in with #sparklybadgersunite on Twitter

Myself and fellow indie author C.H. Clepitt host a #event on Twitter on Monday evenings at 9pm (UK time) called #sparklybadgersunite:


You can of course just follow both of us on Twitter for all our insightful writing updates and daily life tweets. I'm @Grasshopper2407 and she's @BadgersTweetToo. But if you'd like to get involved with #sparklybadgersunite then read on!

We talk about our own current writing projects & encourage other indie authors to share, books we have read, promote indie author news and generally chat about all things sci-fi & fantasy related that occur to us. We'd love to have you join us but first you may be asking what exactly is a #event?

What is a #event?

The use of a hashtag makes tweets and the people who use them a teeny bit easier to find because you can search for particular ones. However, if you are at all familiar with Twitter you will know that the live feed moves faster than the speed of light and often it is purely by chance that you happen to see something you want to see.

One way around that is to search for a specific hashtag. You'll then get a page with the following options - Top, Latest, People, Photos, Videos, News and Broadcasts.  You now have everything related to #sparklybadgersunite at your fingertips.

Latest feed on Twitter

Ok, great. But how does that help you join in? If you choose the Latest tab you will be able to follow the feed in real time. So at 9pm on Monday we kick off with a welcome message and prompt everyone to join in and chat with us. If you leave this tab open, Twitter will automatically refresh it as the #event goes on so you can see all the comments as they happen.

To join in just do what you'd normally do on Twitter - like it, share it and reply to it. 

BUT if you want your response to be added to the event feed you MUST use the designated hashtag #sparklybadgersunite in your tweet.

You still have the big tweet button on the top right of the screen so you can write your own unique tweets as well.
Tweet button

BUT if you want your tweet to be added to the event feed you MUST use the designated hashtag #sparklybadgersunite in your tweet.

It can move fast but don't despair - although our #event only lasts an hour the tweets will always be there and if you decide you want to come back later and join in that's great. All you have to do is search for #sparklybadgersunite and get liking, sharing and commenting.

We'd love to see you on Monday but if you have any questions in the meantime you can always ask them in the comments below or contact myself or C.H. Clepitt directly on Twitter. Happy Tweeting!

Wednesday 2 August 2017

Raven Award Winner

I am so proud to announce that The Gaia Effect has won the 2017 Raven Award for favourite fantasy/sci-fi book.

Raven Award Fav Fantasy-Scifi The Gaia Effect

I am extremely grateful to everyone who took the time to vote for me. It means a great deal to receive recognition for my book.

The awards were run by Uncaged Book Reviews and the winners from each category were mentioned in their August newsletter. Congratulations to everyone who was nominated and to all the winners.

If you would like to buy a copy of the award winning book, The Gaia Effect, it is available in ebook and paperback on Amazon. If you'd like a signed copy from the author then get in touch in the comments box below.

The Gaia Effect book cover