Monday 31 December 2012

Happy New Year!!

Just a quickie to wish you a Happy New Year, and I hope your hopes and dreams and goals move ever closer throughout 2013.

Thank you for reading this blog over the past year, and I look forward to lots of new posts next year.

Thursday 27 December 2012

Did I meet my goals?

After all that preparation, it's over... There are piles of toys all over my house, lots of chocolates and biscuits that will last until at least mid-February, and my mum hasn't even delivered my Christmas cake yet!

I hope you had a great Christmas.

Back in August, I wrote this post and made a few resolutions. And I promised I'd admit how well I did!

1) I am going to get a grip of my sugar - say no to cake/stop buying chocolate with the excuse that I've got writers block/make better post-gym snack choices. This made me laugh because I made this same statement at least twice since August, completely forgetting about the previous ones. I'm definitely trying to cut down, although Christmas hasn't helped. I am making better snack choices and buying less chocolate, so I'm happy with the progress.

2) Further to the above goal, I'm going to get myself back into a proper programme at the gym - after an injury I've been slacking, but my shoulder is better and I really need to do it. I'm certain that by the end of the year I can have a semi-Olympic body (Hehehe, I actually said that!!)
  • Reducing body fat by 5% Nope, not at all. 
  • Lifting 100kg on the leg press (previous PB was 115kg, so definitely achievable, with practise) Again, no, but I have added new leg exercises like straight-legged deadlifts and squats, and I do the leg press at the end of my workout when my legs are tired - I lift 85kg x 10 reps x 3 sets, so I probably could lift 100kg if I did it first - I'll try next leg day.
  • Complete 30 minutes on the stepper I got to 15 minutes, but there's only one stepper and people queue for it. There will be new equipment before Easter, so I'll work up to 30 minutes over the summer.
  • Achieve 1 pull-up (although that's been a goal for the past two years, so don't hold your breath!) Nope, but I hung for a moment the other day. It's a silly thing to do anyway!
  • Run 5k at a 5% incline in less than 30 minutes I got a injured, and I can only run for about 10 minutes without searing pain through my ankle. I think this would be a stretch even if I wasn't injured though.
3) I'm going to try to have two complete days away from the internet every week - and write longhand on those days so I'm not tempted to to stray onto the web The only days I've managed to be internet-free are the days I've been out of the house. Although, taking part in NaNoWriMo made me realise how much time I can waste time on the internet, so I am getting better at knowing when I should turn it off. That's worth at least half a point, isn't it?

4) I'm going to make sure I have at least half an hour after I come in from work before I turn on my laptop Erm, next...

5) I'm going to write at least two drafts of a brand new novella, the idea for which is lurking in my mind, but annoyingly not quite fully formed It's taken me a while to remember what the idea was... However, I wrote one draft, which I finished just before November. I'm looking forward to going back to it. It took longer than I thought, because I needed to do some research. 

So, overall, I didn't do too well...
What about you? Do you make resolutions? New Year's ones, birthday ones,
random ones in August or March?
Have you made any for the New Year? 
I'd love to hear about them!

Thursday 20 December 2012

Merry Christmas, Everyone!

2012 has been a great year for me - seeing Cat and The Dreamer, a book I'd worked on and loved for several years (and thought might not ever get published) brought to life was amazing. I'm hoping to be able to announce my next project sometime in the new year.

I'd like to say a huge thank you to everyone who's visited my blog this year and for your continued friendship. I appreciate how many of you stop by to comment. I've made some really good friends, and met a heavy metal band! (Eek and squee, Kyra Lennon!!)

This is my last post before Christmas, but I'm hoping to squeeze one more in before New Year - I seem to remember I made a few resolutions earlier on this year, so I have to come clean and share how I did.

I hop you have a warm, safe, fun, music-filled and very Merry Christmas !!

(edited to make sense 2pm 20/12/12)

Monday 17 December 2012

It's the end of the world, apparently

The world is going to end on Friday, 21st December 2012, apparently. I was going to link to an article, but you're probably already aware of this. In fact, you're probably all reading this from your prepared bunkers surrounded by tins of food and cartons of long life milk...

Wait... you're not?!

Actually, neither am I.

My overriding feeling about Friday is annoyance. Why are you annoyed, strange woman, you ask?

Because about eighteen months ago, before I was fully aware of the Mayan prophecy/non prophecy (delete as applicable), I had the idea for an apocalyptic novel. I spent a year writing and re-writing, finishing just before the April A-Z Blogging Challenge when I set it aside to come back to in May. But I didn't get back to it.

I had some great readers for it - who all gave positive feedback - but I wasn't happy with the ending. I'm still not happy with the ending. I know it could be something amazing, if I was able to do it properly, but at the moment my skills are lacking - it's there, this perfect idea, but just out of reach. Argh... so annoying.

So I moved on to the next novel.

And then everyone started talking about the end of the world, which is even more annoying because a book that tied it with that would have been great.

Now, I'm expecting 2013 to be full of apocalyptic novels. I know it's not a new genre, and these trends go around in circles, but it would have been great to have been just slightly ahead of the trend.

Have you ever missed out? Have you ever struggled to find the perfect ending?

Monday 10 December 2012

U Got the Look - NaNoWriMo special

The lovely Allison at Geek Banter has tagged me in the 'U Got the Look' meme that's been circling blogland. I did this back in August with my then current WIP - but this time Allison has mentioned that she'd like me to use my NaNo project, which I think is a great idea.

If you haven't seen this meme yet, you track down the first mention of the word 'look' in your WIP and then post the paragraph(s) surrounding it. Please bear in mind that this is exactly as I wrote it on 1st November (I haven't yet started re-writing it) although I'm pretty sure that even though these are currently the first two paragraphs, they won't be soon!

One moment The Sea View Hotel was standing proud on Grand Parade, dominating the sky line, alongside a terrace of similar buildings; the next, one whole side had blasted out across the promenade. The huge explosion was heard several miles, several towns, away.

At first, no one moved. There were small groups of people just looking up at the space left behind. The rubble created a cloud of dust. Someone somewhere shouted “Fire!” and that’s what got people moving. They ran forward, then ran away when a secondary explosion from somewhere deep inside the building made the walls shake.

And now I'm going to tag some people - I don't always tag forward, because it's so hard to choose, but I love Allison's sub-clause of using the NaNo project that I'm going to stipulate the same thing.

Kate, Julie, Jennie and Kyra you've been tagged!

Friday 7 December 2012

Kyra Lennon's Blindsided Tour

I'm really excited to host Kyra Lennon here today. She's been on her blog tour to celebrate the release of Blindsided, the second novel in the Game On series. This is the last stop on her tour, and she's sharing her plans for the future! Take it away, Kyra...

For those of you who have followed my Game On journey from the beginning, you’ll know I didn’t always have a series planned. The idea sprouted from wise words given to me by my CPs, and I ran with it. Fast. Two books in a year!

I didn’t always know where each character’s story would go, but they live inside my head, and now again, they pop out and whisper something in my ear. The next book in the series will be from the POV of Bree Collinson. She doesn’t feature in Blindsided, but many of you will remember as the ditzy wife of the Westberg Warriors goalkeeper, Jude.

Bree was a ray of sunshine in Game On. Her enthusiasm for life kept Leah from falling apart on several occasions, and that sunny persona is what makes everyone love her so much. Okay, to some the endless bubbliness might be annoying, but the girl has the kindest heart you can imagine, so in spite of her dizziness, it’s hard not to be charmed by her!

Bree’s story (tentatively named Sidelined) shows a whole different side to her. Her life wasn’t always picture perfect, and you’ll learn a lot about her backstory, including how she met Jude. Bree goes through some huge changes during her story, as she struggles to make sense of the things she’s experienced. She also faces some inner turmoil about her life with Jude, and what she wants for her future.

Seriousness aside, Bree won’t lose all of her sparkle. But there are tough times ahead for her and the rest of the characters when two unexpected events rock their worlds. 

Blindsided Synopsis:
After a successful first soccer season in L.A, Jesse Shaw heads to London with his best buddy, Hunter, but his world is turned upside down when a dangerous prank threatens his career and his blossoming relationship with Hunter’s cousin, Isabelle. 

Isabelle Mills lives in Notting Hill with her parents and her twin sister, Georgia. When she finds out her cousin is coming to stay, along with his famous soccer player friend, her first instinct is to hibernate until they’ve gone. However, once she meets Jesse, everything changes. He’s everything she ever wanted, but with so many obstacles in their path, can she really risk putting her heart on the line?

Author Bio:
Kyra Lennon was born on the South coast of England, and to this day, still lives by the sea. After years spent working in retail, where she met enough versatile characters to write hundreds of books, she finally took the plunge and quit her day job. Kyra's debut novel, Game On, was released in July 2012. While fiction writing has always been her passion, she also has numerous articles on a variety of topics published on prolific websites. 

Buy Here: 
Kyra Lennon on
Kyra Lennon on

Find Kyra Here:

Wednesday 5 December 2012

IWSG - Thank you

Trust me to take part in two blog-hops in the week that I'm very busy and not able to spend much time at my computer! As a result, I'm way behind on visiting the 'And you are...?' participants, but I'm planning a pyjama day on Thursday when I will read posts for that blog-hop and for this one!

I'm actually writing this post on Monday morning this week and scheduling it, because on Wednesday morning I'm probably be going to be very tired after an epic evening with Kyra Lennon!

Kyra is a wonderful person to know, and I love having her as a friend. She phoned me up and couple of months ago and said 'Let's have an epic evening at a Fozzy concert' and I said yes.

It occurred to me, that if it hadn't been for my blog I'd never have met such a great person, and she definitely wouldn't be sleeping in my dining room right now (or - as I'm writing this on Monday and don't really know - we may already be drinking our first cuppa and talking about how epic our evening was).

Isn't that the weirdest thing to think about? Just think for a moment of all the things that may not have happened if you'd chosen to stay in one evening, popped to the shop before work one morning, fallen over on the ice one winter, not fallen over on the ice.

All the things that happen in our lives are connected to other things that at the time seemed completely innocuous.

If I hadn't created my blog, a couple of years ago, I'd never have met Kyra or a host of other supportive people. Until that point, I'd never had any writer friends. I had friends who like to read, and would read my work - and they would normally read it as though it was the end product and declare it brilliant (note: I love comments like that, by the way!) - and I have friends who don't read at all, and I'm sure they think I'm a bit weird. Having people around that I can talk about the writing process, about problems with my characters or the choice between first and third person has been a god-send for me.

So this post is a huge thank you to everyone who follows this blog and takes their time to comment. I'd like to highlight a few people who were my earliest followers and the ones who've been the most supportive:

LindaC at Excuse Me While I Note That Down...
Gwen Tolios at Fulfilling Dreams
Suze at Subliminal Coffee.
J.A. Bennett
Patsy Collins
Melissa Ann Goodwin, Storyteller
Elizabeth Seckman at Use Your Words...
Misha Gericke at My First Book
Marta Szemik
Kate N at The Suddenly Kate Show
Teresa F Morgan at The Wittering Woman ...
Rebecca Bradley 

The only problem I have with listing people is I'm sure I forget people, but - like I said - these are some of the people who have been with me the longest and/or comment regularly. Thanks to everyone reading this, you're all awesome - and please take the time to check out the blogs above, if you don't already know them!

You can find all the other participants to the IWSG listed on Alex's blog here.

Monday 3 December 2012

"And you are...?" bloghop

Tammy and Emily are hosting a bloghop!

To find out what the dickens this is all about, click this link here and all will be revealed. I signed up a long time ago and I have turned my brain to jelly taking part in NaNoWriMo, but basically - I think - I have to answer the questions below. There might be more to it, but one step at a time...

1. How many speeding tickets have you gotten? None, I can't drive, and I'd have to run pretty fast to get a ticket!

2. Can you pitch a tent? No, but I can watch one being put up, usually whilst entertaining kids who've been cooped up in a car for hours. I play Frisbee instead.

3. What was your worst vacation ever? That would have to be camping holiday in the rain... I can't choose which one, because there have been several, but we keep going back for more...

4. What was the last thing you bought over $100? As I'm in the UK, I'm going to change that to £100... but actually, I can't think of the last thing I bought for that amount - I imagine the water bill doesn't count?

5. We're handing you the keys to what? My new house - it's detached, about 100 years old, large fireplaces, large rooms, a modern kitchen and a view of the sea. Thank you very much!

6. What was the last meal cooked that made even you sick? About 7 years ago I gave myself full-on food poisoning by cooking some fish I found in the freezer. Usually Hubby cooks, but he was out - I was cooking sausages for the kids, but there weren't enough for me so I had the fish... BIG mistake!

7. Fill in the blank: Oh my gosh! Becky, look at her butt! It is so big. She looks like _____? Sorry, I can't answer this, I wouldn't say anything like that.

8. What was your first car? Although my answer to question 1 was I can't drive, I did buy myself a car when I was attempting to learn. It was a Ford Fiesta, I owned it for about six months. I even bought it a Manchester City air freshener tag.

9. Your best friend falls and gets hurt. Do you ask if he/she's okay or laugh first? I'd always check she was okay first, then laugh.

10. What's the worst song ever? Far, far too many to list... currently, Gangnam Style and Candy by Robbie Williams. I usually don't remember bad songs, my head is too full of great songs.