Family Heirlooms

Yay! I have a story in this week’s People’s Friend magazine!



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#IWSG: We could all use a little suncreen

I’m slowly crawling out from the fug of Christmas and squinting into the sparkly gleam of a new year, but I have to concentrate on getting the kids back to school first!

Being the first Wednesday of the month, this is my posting for the Insecure Writers Support Group. However as it’s also my first posting of the year, this is for anyone else too.

Anything I have to say is rather neatly encapsulated in this link. If you haven’t heard it before, it’s definitely worth taking the time out to listen. If you have, it’s still worth a re-listen. (And if you haven’t got time, stick it on while you do the washing up or cook tea).

Whoever you are, whatever your plans; we could all do with a little sunscreen.

IWSG Badge
The IWSG was founded by Alex J Cavanaugh, where writers can blog about their hopes, dreams and fears. If you want to join this merry band of writers Click here to add your name to the list.

The awesome co-hosts for the first posting of 2017 are; Eva @ Lillicasplace, Crystal Collier, Sheena-kay Graham, Chemist Ken, LG Keltner, and Heather Gardner!

Don’t forget to drop by and see what they have to say 🙂

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#IWSG December: What next?

It’s the first Wednesday of the month again when

IWSG Badge
…founded by Alex J Cavanaugh, blog about their hopes, dreams and fears. If you want to join this merry band of writers Click here to add your name to the list…
The awesome co-hosts for the December 7 posting of the IWSG are; Jennifer Hawes, Jen Chandler, Nick Wilford, Juneta Key, JH Moncrieff, Diane Burton, and MJ Fifield!

Before I continue, (and because I know everyone is itching to know), Yes! I completed Na-no!
I rocked in on day 30 with just over 50,000 words of a novel.
That novel still isn’t finished and I need to crack back on with it today as I feel as if I’ve spent the last week catching up with the stuff I didn’t get done in November because I was concentrating on Na-no! (Hey ho, one step forward…)

But it was a great experience, and if you want to know more you’ll have to check out my last post as that probably said everything that needed to be said.

Meantime, it’s IWSG day, and this month’s question is; In terms of your writing career, where do you see yourself five years from now, and what’s your plan to get there?

Ok, sitting comfortably? Then off we go.

First, let’s backtrack to five years ago. Back in 2011 my aim was probably ‘to be published’, and perhaps also subconsciously ‘to feel like a writer’.

I’ve done that now. I’ve had stories published on-line and in magazines. I’ve become a member of two ‘real-time’ writing groups as well as some on-line communities, and I’m a lot more comfortable talking to friends and family about my writing. It’s much easier to say ‘I write’. (Not quite there with calling myself ‘an author’ yet though).

I know I’m still on my journey. There’s a long way to go, but I’m more confident of the terrain.

In another five years? I’d like to be a published novelist. (And perhaps it’d be nice to be able to stand up and say, ‘My name is Angela and I’m an author’.)

Now, I could do this tomorrow. I have two novels written and another on the go. I could load them up onto KDP or whatever platform of my choice and send them out into the world.

But I won’t. Because they aren’t ready yet. I know they don’t need to be perfect (I could spend the rest of my life procrastinating if that were necessary). But I have to feel confident that they are as good as I can possibly make them, so that in a further five years I’m not cringing and wondering what on earth possessed me.

So, my plan?

Keep doing what I’m doing; writing, learning, growing (that’s growing my writerly presence, not my waistline!) I’m learning that it’s good to not have too fixed a plan, because things never work out quite like you expect, and it’s good to be flexible.

What about you? Where do you see yourself in five years?

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Time for a nano update

nanowrimo_2016_webbadge_participantIt’s over two thirds of the way through my first Nanowrimo, (if you’ve missed what that is, it stands for NAtional NOvel WRIting MOnth, where writers are challenged to write 50,000 words of their novel over the thirty days of November), and I thought it was time for an update.

It’s been interesting.

First off, I’ve been typing directly rather than writing longhand first. There are still times when I itch to doodle with a pen and see what ideas come through, but on the whole it’s been much easier than I’d thought. (This could save me a fortune in notebooks, but leave people scuppered for Christmas present ideas.)

Typing directly has made me realise that
a) I can do it! And
b) I write more than I’d realised.
You see, when you’re writing longhand you tend to only count the finished text, not the notes or the errors. By participating in word sprints I’ve found that I average out at about 200 words in ten minutes. I’m quite impressed with myself.

I’ve set up a Nano file in Scrivener with a fresh document for each day of November. In the notes section on the side I record the target word count for the day, and what was actually achieved.
Initially I started out at the standard 1,667 words per day and was easily going over that. That’s just as well as weekends are so busy I don’t get much writing done, so it all balances out. I’ve taken to looking at the remaining word count on a daily basis and dividing that between my remaining ‘writing’ days to work out my daily targets. Then I’ve generally aimed for 2,500 per day anyway to give myself a comfortable buffer in case some kind of disaster strikes.

I mentioned word sprints earlier. This is where people write for an agreed time, then record their word count at the end. My ‘Team Holly’ nano group has a chat room set up for this. You sign in, say hello, and whoever was first starts the timer for ten minutes. At the end of that we compare counts and cheer each other on. I’ve found it great for focusing. Where on my own I might stop and stare into space or make (another) cup of tea, here I’ll carry on and before I know it I’ve racked up another 600 words. (AND I’VE WORD SPRINTED WITH HOLLY LISLE!!! That’s so cool 🙂 ).

I’m also doing a lot of pantsing. Or maybe that’s plantsing as I do have a vague outline, but this month is also an adventure to see where my characters and I end up. I mean, I know where I want us to end up – or thereabouts, but not how we’re gonna get there. Certainly there have been bees involved, which I didn’t expect and still don’t know what’s going to happen with them.

I cut my nails at the start of November, because I thought that pounding the keyboard with my normal talons might be a bit painful. So hopefully an added benefit will be that by Christmas they’ll have not only grown back but will be the same length!


One final reminder (as much to myself as anyone else): DON’T FORGET TO BACK-UP!!!

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A-Z of Fictional Characters: G is for Garion.

belgariad1Garion is the main character in The Belgariad series by David Eddings.
This consisted of five books; Pawn of Prophecy, Queen of Sorcery, Magicians Gambit, Castle of Wizardry and Enchanter’s End Game.

I’ve always considered that I grew up with Garion. I first read Pawn of Prophecy when I was umm… 12-ish? Similar to his age in the first book. I quickly read the next two, Queen of Sorcery and Magician’s Gambit but then had to wait for the next books to be published and they came out probably a year at a time, which meant that I grew up in step with him. So I was probably about 15 by the time Enchanter’s End Game came along.
I spent a lot of years meeting his friends and sharing his adventures. Continue reading

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#IWSG November: The best bits

It’s the first Wednesday of the month again when

IWSG Badge
…founded by Alex J Cavanaugh, blog about their hopes, dreams and fears. If you want to join this merry band of writers Click here to add your name to the list…
The awesome co-hosts for the November 2 posting of the IWSG are; Joylene Nowell Butler, Jen Chandler, Mary Aalgaard, Lisa Buie Collard, Tamara Narayan, Tyrean Martinson, and Christine Rains!

This month’s prompt is: What is your favourite aspect of being a writer? Continue reading

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Storytime Blog Hop: Quiet Neighbours

storytime bloghop

It’s time for another Storytime blog hop. This time it’s a Hallowe’en theme and it promises to be our most popular one yet!

So cosy up next to the fire, light that pumpkin, bolt the shutters and just make sure that hand you’re holding is attached to someone…

Martha and Martha, long dead sisters, have been looking forward to a new presence in the graveyard. But the other ghosts have been disappearing, and perhaps tonight they’ll find out why… Continue reading

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