Friday, 29 March 2013

Celebrate the Small Things - 29 March

Hello and welcome to another CELEBRATE THE SMALL THINGS.

The rules are simple: you post something small you'd like to celebrate - tidying that cupboard, finally getting to the gym. You join the linky list. You hop around other people's blogs and say YAY and CONGRATS and join in the happy feelings.

There's no set 'you must join in X often' for this, but I have done a tidy up today of the linky and removed blogs who didn't seem to have joined in at all. MANY apologies if I removed yours and you did intend joining in. Do add yourself on again and accept my apologies please. But hopefully I'll given it a tidy.


  • This week I am celebrating a nice night out with a friend where we had a free bottle of bubbly. (I must have put my birthday on a mailing list at some point, and their promise of free bubbly worked because in we went and spent money on food there.)
  • I also went to a work do which was fun and I enjoyed seeing workmates.
  • I received a rejection on my MS and I am very grateful for my writing group friends who cheered me up and told me to keep on keeping on ;)

What are you celebrating? As April is the A-Z Challenge, for the next month I am going to combine A-Z with my Celebrate posts, just to warn you.

Here's the linky to hop around!

Wednesday, 27 March 2013

A-Z is a coming!

April is just around the corner and with it, the A-Z Challenge. I am joining in for the first time and I am very excited.

Obviously this means my usual blogging schedule is out the window, however I will still be hosting Celebrate the Small Things on a Friday. I am trying to decide whether to keep those posts separate (and put two posts up on one day) or just join them together, and have my letter of the day and my celebrations! Any thoughts? What do you usually do?

Anyone else A-Zing and are you all prepped?

Monday, 25 March 2013

Blog Tour: Jen Naumann's "Cheating Death"

Today I am very excited to be part of the blog tour for Jen Naumann's New Adult release "Cheating Death."

WOO!! This is a blog hop and you can check out the schedule at this linkJen is one of my fellow Writer Diaries contributors and is an all round awesome person :) I am very excited and pleased to be part of her blog tour!

Here's more about Cheating Death:

Lysandra Brooks remembers everything about the day she almost drowned alongside her grandma, especially the set of mysterious eyes she saw at the bottom of the lake. Ever since then, she's been seeing strange things when she is near water—things that aren't really there. Because of it, Lysandra has the tendency to avoid anything that isn't on dry land. On her last day of high school, however, the biggest party of the year is set to take place at a fellow senior's lakeside mansion. Despite her fears, Lysandra decides to prove to her friends and herself that she can handle it.

But after a horrific night of drinking and drama that leaves Lysandra feeling lonely and confused, she nearly drowns for a second time, only to be saved by the new guy in town. From that moment on, Lysandra's world is turned upside down with the discovery of mind blowing secrets, including a revelation that something sinister is after her soul.

Does that sound ace? & Isn't the cover beautiful?!

There's an awesome book trailer as well - you can check it out here.

I'm very excited for the release, this sounds so amazing!

Here's more about Jen:

Jen grew up during a magical time in which Ghostbusters, Star Wars, E.T. and The Goonies were the biggest blockbusters. Her love of sci-fi exploded over time, eventually growing into a career of writing YA fiction with a paranormal flair. When not sitting at her Mac, she can be found at concerts and movies, hanging with friends, chilling at her lake home, taking pictures, working on graphic design projects, traveling, or at home with her husband in southern Minnesota and trying to keep up with their four active children.

Follow Jen:

Jen has a giveaway to win an e book of Cheating Death which I advise you enter!

Rafflecopter widget: a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, 22 March 2013

Celebrate the Small Things: 22 Mar

Welcome to another edition of: CELEBRATE THE SMALL THINGS. *drumroll* *sets off firework*

The purpose is this: To Celebrate the Small Things of the week. The warm cup of coffee on a freezing cold day. The child eating something green. The post which arrives on time. Post in your blog about it, sign on the linky list, and hop around said list and celebrate with some others. Please offer a couple of others a virtual high five.

Full info here, but I'll link the linky list at the end of the post.

This week I am mostly celebrating birthday week. I had my birthday this week and I was *cough* years old. I had a day off work which involved a:

  • Bubble Bath
  • Yummy Red Velvet Cupcake
  • Trip to Art Exhibit
  • Nice Dinner out
A series of small things which added up to a very lovely day and happy me.

How about you?

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Blog Blitz!

I have seen this awesome idea: BLOG BLITZ hosted by DL Hammons (he of Write Club fabulousness). See this post here to join in/get all the deets, but the idea is this:

You sign up on the linky, and become part of the Blog Blitz Team. From time to time DL will select a deserving blog and date and email everyone the info. On that date everyone goes out of their way to visit that blog and blitz it with comments. How nice to get encouraging comments all out of the blue!

So join in, spread the word, sign up ;)

Monday, 18 March 2013

Top 10 Movie Countdown: BlogHop

Greetings and Salutations! Today I am joining in Alex J Cavanaugh's Top 10 Movie Countdown Blogfest! (See link for those joining in!)

The instructions really could not be more simple: List your Top 10 Fave Movies!

The only difficulty I have here is in ranking my top 10 - I think my absolute fave varies, and my top 10 varies also. So, in no particular order, here are my top 10 (this week):

The Sci-Fi Crew:
1. Terminator 2 - I just love this film. I have probably watched it more than any other (excepting maybe Star Wars). I love how strong Sarah Connor is. I love how Arnie turns from Hunter to Protector in this film. I could quote it nearly word for word. "No Problemo." "Hasta La Vista Baby." Ahhh. I want to watch it now.
2. The Matrix - I like to pretend the sequels didn't exist. One of the few films where I have walked out of the cinema and wanted to walk right back in again and re-watch it. Home of one of the most copied sequences (where the camera pans around Neo). Awesome does not cut it. "Stop trying to hit me and hit me."
3. Star Wars: A New Hope - because it's STAR WARS dudes. And Han Solo needs a mention. And Obi Wan. "These are not the droids you're looking for."
4. Donnie Darko - I just could not get enough of this movie. Saw it tons of times in the cinema. Inventive. Brilliant acting.The Gyllenhaal. "I promise that one day, everything's gonna be better for you."

The '80s Lot:
5. Heathers - ahhh Heathers. "Greetings and Salutations!" "What's your damage, Heather?" Christian Slater at his sexiest. Nuff said.

The '90s Lot
6. Pump Up The Volume. - another Slater fave. Sometimes I feel like I'm the only person who loves this film. He's a pirate radio DJ - mild mannered by day, outrageous by night. "It's like a dirty thought in a nice clean mind."
7. Speed - Because seriously. The opening lift sequence is nail-biting excitement that would be the denouement in another movie and is JUST THE START here. A simple, great set up: There's a bomb on a bus. Keanu, being muscley hotness. Sandra Bullock being fab. "Pop Quiz Hot Shot." 
8. Reality Bites - Not many movies really capture that post college, finding your feet, working out what to be time and Reality Bites does it perfectly. We need more novels like this. Eminently quotable, I still love Troy Dyer. "All you have to be by the time you're 23 is yourself." I could quote this entire movie. But I won't.

The Chick Flicks
9. 13 Going on 30 - I just... it's so cute! Jennifer Garner is cute and the plot zips along and I just love it. I'm not sure why, even. "If you're gonna start lying about your age, I'd go with 27."
10. Mean Girls - who doesn't love this? Brilliant writing, Tina Fey is a goddess. "Stop trying to make fetch happen!"

Many many movies I couldn't mention. Any of the above on your list?

Friday, 15 March 2013

Celebrate the Small Things - 15th March

Welcome to another edition of Celebrate the Small Things and for those joining in: I hope you are enjoying and finding this worthwhile. There isn't a pressure to join in every week, though I will try and do regular tidies of the linky and remove people who don't seem to join in often.

So! The rules are simple: Sign Up on the linky. Post something to celebrate. Hop around and send virtual hugs and congratulations to other people celebrating! Full details here.

My Celebrations this week:

The Veronica Mars movie getting funded on Kickstarter. I loved that show and am v. pleased. Hope it gets a UK release!

Pay Day - always a reason to celebrate!

Patience - you need it in this writing game. I'm learning to have it.

It's been an ordinary sort of week otherwise so have tried to take pleasure in the small things. A hot cup of tea. A nice night in front of the TV. Etc!

How about you?

Don't forget to check out the linky and visit others:

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

YA Highway: Road Trip Wednesday: Bad Habits!

Taking part in YA Highway's Road Trip Wednesday! Today's question is:

Spring cleaning! What do you hope to "clean out" from your writing? What habits/tropes/words etc do you want to eliminate?

This is in one way an easy one, because I just posted a list of all the things I look for in a close edit. Those are absolutely all bad habits I hope to break!

But today I think the number one bad habit I need to break is self doubt, when it stops me from writing. I need to accept that all those bad habits will be in there, that it might not be perfect, that the plot might need work or the character not quite speak to me, and go for it anyway. I feel stymied by lack of ... positivity? Confidence? inspiration? Brain power? Mojo? at the moment so that's definitely what I want to stop!

How about you? If you have time to check out my list of close edits and have anything to add, I would love to hear it ;)

Friday, 8 March 2013

Celebrate the Small Things: Fri 8th March

Greetings and celebratory salutations my friends, here we are again for another round of 'Celebrate The Small Things'.

The rules are quite simple. In fact they are not really rules. More guidelines. Full details here but in a nutshell: sign up on the linky, post your small things to celebrate, hop around blogs and celebrate with people: Woo! Yay! Go you! Etc. The celebrations can be anything you like: you tidied your sock drawer perhaps, or mastered the Rubix Cube.

My celebrations this week:

Finally kicking winter cold no. 452 which has been around for ages so starting to feel human.

Think we have found a plasterer to do our cupboard. Seriously, for some reason this has been difficult but hurrah! Somebody wants our business ;)

Dinner out (dimsum yum) with two friends, who have wee babies so it's not easy for us to get together.

How about you? What celebrations have you this week?

Here are all the celebrating participants:

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

IWSG: Starting Over

I didn't think I'd be able to post today but jumping on briefly for the Insecure Writers Support Group. Check of Alex Cavanaugh's blog for more info and the linky list.

I have recently completed an R&R and therefore am temporarily paused on the WIP I've been working on for... oooh forever. I have a rough draft of another novel I want to return to but I am having trouble getting going on it.

Yes, I might just need a brain break to read and watch TV and that's fine, I won't beat myself up about that.

But I really want to work on this piece. I love the idea. I know I can make it better. I have a list of changes to do. But I somehow can't find a way to get started on them.

It's not like I am drafting from scratch - I have something to work with. Maybe that's the trouble, that I have been editing for a while and a new draft may help.

Overall, it feels like starting over. Back to the start of the edits. Which is fine. But I'm having trouble getting going.

Do you ever have this? Any tips?

Monday, 4 March 2013

Inspiration from Books

I recently read "Fault in Our Stars" by John Green. I'm not posting this to review the book, though I'll say I loved it.

What I was inspired by is the quality of the writing. It was one of those books which I closed and thought 'Damn, I'll never write as good as that.' I also thought, 'how do I make my writing better.'

In John's case, I loved the voice in his writing, the way he writes and sounds like a person. I believed I was reading a book where the girl was telling me her story. I don't always, even when I have loved reading a book.

Another writer who has inspired me is Lauren Oliver, especially "Before I Fall". It was not so much the voice in this which inspired me but the imagery. She has a real way with metaphor, for me, and similarly, I put the book down and thought, 'how do I make my writing better.'

Which writers or books have done this for you? What have you taken away from reading a book?

I would love to hear as I am sure I am not the only one.

Friday, 1 March 2013

Celebrate Small & BlogHop of Joy


This week's "Celebrate the Small Things" coincides with the BlogHop of Joy hosted by Kyra Lennon and Clare Dugmore. The aim of their bloghop is to list five things which put a spring in your step. I encourage you to visit here to learn all about and hop around the great blogs taking part!

Therefore for Celebrate the Small Things this week I am going to celebrate five things which put a spring in my step - I enjoyed all of them this week!
Celebrate the Small Things is my weekly celebration of the small excitements and moments of the week worth celebrating. It can be that your child ate some greens, that you finally took that rubbish to the dump, or that you finished a chapter of writing which was difficult. Anything! More info on that here but in short you post your weekly celebration, hop around others blogs and celebrate!

Linky list at the end but in the meantime, my five:

1. Hot Chocolate on a freezing cold day, warming up my fingers
2. My fish swimming to the front of the tank when I walk in the house
3. The squirrel in my garden darting along hunting for nuts, and especially when the squirrel has found a big piece of food
4. My new warm wintry socks
5. The first day of a new month.

Here's the #celebratesmall linky, and please do use that hashtag either to link your post or just to celebrate whatever takes your fancy!