Snowdrops, Daffodils and the little things …

Isn’t the pic on this weeks blog lush? I nabbed it from internet though so it’s not one of mine. But it perfectly captures this time of year! I have a small cluster of snow drops on my front lawn that appears every year without fail. It’s completely random and always makes me smile. And I love the colour of daffodils – just as winter starts releasing it’s grasp on the country we live in, the daffodils pop up and remind us vibrantly that the spring is just around the corner.

It’s been a funny couple of weeks since my last blog, not funny haha, just funny. I’ve been ill for a start, really ill! Have had acute sinusitis with two (i dont do things by half) retracted eardrums. Literally exhausted and couldn’t move off the couch. Have been ill now for three weeks and am still lethargic and lacking in energy despite antibiotics and steroid sprays! I’ll get there though 🙂

Unfortunately the illness meant the week I took off to focus on just writing didn’t come about as I was too ill! Over the last couple of days though, I have managed to get a few thousand words down which feels amazing! Have about three thousand handwritten words to type up too but need to finish the chapter I’m on before I can do those (I’m terrible for having to write consecutively – the handwriting jumped ahead of where I should have been quite by accident!) I did manage to get four more submissions sent off to agents before I was struck down also though so fingers crossed. I’ll be taking a day next week and focussing on competition entries and submissions though. There’s been a few of late, and my facebook page has been sharing like mad when the opportunities have arisen. As much as I’d love to win the all important publishing deal, I know other people would too and am very fair so wouldn’t not share the opportunity with my writerly friends. After all, all’s fair in love and writing. 😉

As I was writing this week, my fingers suddenly typed something I didn’t realise. Marlo has a secret! Something big too, not a small secret! A secret where she hears screams in her mind. Now I’m going to be mean and not tell you what the secret is, you’ll have to wait and see! On the plus side though, the working title of the novel has finally come to me. It’s taken it’s sweet time like, normally I get the title when I write my novel plan. But anyway, the title for book 3 is …. TIME TO PLAY. And it’s going to be a doozy. It’s writing well so far and the characters are fantastic.

Book 4 plot lines are already starting to show themselves too! These get written in my old faithful moleskine and will be pulled out at a later date!

Editing on book 2 is going slowly but it is going, though I haven’t done any in the last few weeks. It will get done and finished though. Though I must admit the task is somewhat daunting – I’m one of those who hate proper editing!

Just touching on fear (indirect link to the word daunting above), it is definitely our fears that hold us back and the only way to get over those fears is to confront them head on. A good friend is having a minor op today at the hospital but is really afraid as hasn’t had many. I’m not afraid of hospitals or operations, I’ve had too many on my sinuses to be afraid, but there are things I am afraid of. I am petrified of spiders, I may have mentioned this before, freezing in fear level of petrified. And wasps, though that’s more down to being allergic to wasp venom. They’re evil little so-an-so’s. Then there’s the normal fears that most people put up with, social/life fears I call them. Those little niggles that say ‘you can’t do that’ or ‘what if this happens’ or ‘why doesn’t he/she like me’. I think as I grow older these fears mean less, I tend to be quite open and honest, and have grown into the mindset that if people don’t like me as I am, with all my bells and whistles, then they’re not worth my fear. I no longer worry about offending people (I’m actually really polite to everyone lol), I say what I think though, and slowly but surely I am learning the word no, where I used to be very much a yes person. I don’t live my life by what ifs and maybes – I now live day to day and search actively for the things that make me happy, and aim to help the people around me be happy also. Happiness is the most important thing, and if the one thing this journey into positive thinking has taught me is that thinking this way brings things forth, well then that’s what I do!

I said in my new year blog that this year will be fantastic and that I will be lucky. It’s definitely been the case so far! You all know about my luck when complaining, and the tax man has just sent me a tidy rebate which will be paying for the remainder of my Harrogate trip (where might I add, JK Rowling is also attending this year!!) So a huge THANK YOU to the universe for listening and recognising that I am sending these vibes and reciprocating! I look forward to many more vibes being exchanged and much more luck and of course, happiness 🙂

I’ll sign off now lovely people, but I’ll leave you with a task if I may. There’s a thing on facebook at present called 100 days of happiness, it basically involves taking a photo of something that makes you happy every day and posting it. I’m not asking you to do that – just look around each day and find one thing that either makes you grateful or raises a smile – and just be thankful that that is there. It’s such an easy ask I promise! Several things have made me smile today in the hour I’ve been up for. A bird eating nuts on the tree out the back. the dog wagging his tail at me to say good morning, the taste of my hot cup of coffee when I took that first sip, the birthday wishes sent to a friend, and even the sprinkling of rain drops on my windows. And the best bit is there’s no limit on how many things can make you smile! So go on and give it a go, and don’t let it stop!

Take care lovely people, and keep smiling 🙂

Chills, stories and luck …

It’s been a while since my last post purely because of the amount of work I’ve been trying to get through, and also the fact that I’ve had cold, yet again! If you can believe that I’m generally someone who doesn’t get colds all that often, this particular winter has not been a good one. With weeks and months of sinusitis, and waking up yesterday with my third head cold in as many months I feel it may be time to resort to desperate measures! A friend of mine swears by lemon and ginger tea, now I’m not a fan of flavoured tea but at this stage I feel it’s time to give it a go. It’s funny, when I was a CSI and out and about constantly, you’d have thought I suffered a higher exposure to illness but it’s office working that does it!

‘Enough of the whining,’ I hear you cry. ‘Let’s hear about all the other stuff, the interesting stuff. Like writing!’

Ok so as you know book 1 is finished, book 2 is being edited and book 3 has been started. The trouble with editing and writing at the same time is you sometimes lose track of where you are, or what you’re working on. Yesterday for example, I submitted book 1 to numerous agencies, but with each agent wanting something different you have tailor each submission to suit. So it takes time, yesterday morning I got four submitted and one prepped for paper submission. Then I worked on book 3 because when it’s been quiet at work I’ve been frantically penning by hand and thought it was time to move this into the novel so that the structure starts to form. Trouble with this is that although you realise where you need to add other bits, it can also make you realise that the story is progressing a little too fast. Marlo and Ali are crying out to be heard and my poor fingers can’t type fast enough to keep up with them! It’s a challenging story to write anyway, getting into the head of my bad guy and realising that maybe, although he appears evil and does what normal people would consider evil things, he’s actually just a normal guy with his own problems is quite an eye opener. I love it when a character surprises me – like Connor for example. He’s the new guy on the dive team, and wow is he conflicted. I sense a story of his own coming around at some point – there’s much more to Connor than meets the eye. And what skeletons does Marlo have in her closet, she definitely has some, I know because she brought the fact to my attention quite suddenly. But what they are will only be disclosed as the novel progresses. And as for Ali, he’s similar to Alex, his brother, in a lot of ways, but in others he’s vastly different. Why does he doubt his ability to do the job, why doesn’t he date? Again these are questions that will become clear as the novel continues forward. No spoilers from me!

I’m a believer in luck, or fate, or karma or whatever you want to call it. I firmly believe that those who do bad things will get bad things back ten fold, and that those who do good things work to keep the balance and hopefully receive things in return. It’s been a few weeks for that return for me – vouchers from coca cola paid for the weeks pop for me and Pete, voucher from Sainsburies provided a cheap week of shopping and a voucher from JD Weatherspoons will result in a nice meal out for me and Pete when times are tough for all of us. This is because I’ve taken to complaining when things are not good, we all stand in the wings and have a whinge when we aren’t happy but how many of us actually do something about it? I decided I would start complaining about the bad stuff in January, if only as a way to point out potential improvements. So far the universe has been very giving in it’s responses. I will continue to complain when receiving bad service or goods, but I also say when I’ve had exceptionally good service. Like yesterday for example. Text message to my mobile from EE saying I had exceeded my data usage, now being that I use an iphone and my data usage, though high, comes nowhere near my allocation of 6gb per month, I phoned to ensure all was well and to see if I could change my tariff down (in an attempt to cut costs for me and Pete more in these times of financial hardship that everyone is facing). The lady I spoke with was lovely, friendly and very helpful. The text, it turns out, was an error, and though she couldnt drop my line rental she could offer a further 15% discount on my line rental until it allowed her to change the tariff. Now that’s good service.

And in Asda this morning, the checkout girl could see I was about to sneeze whilst trying to pack my shopping. There was no-one behind me so she wasn’t in a rush to get rid of me (unless she didn’t want my germs which is completely understandable), but she packed my shopping for me whilst I rifled in the pit that is my handbag for a tissue. Not required, but lovely service. And with a smile too.

So today I resolve not to sit on the couch and sniffle to myself under a blanket, feeling excessively sorry for my poorly self. Instead, I’m going to go for a walk, get a bit of fresh air and hopefully pass a little of my luck onto other people. I might even have a mooch into town for some well earned people watching, whilst actively smiling and chatting to people I may see. Yes some will think I’m nuts no doubt, but if just one person smiles back then it’s been a good day.

I hope you all have a fantastic day too, and a fantastic week. I’m looking forward to seeing psychic tomorrow evening, and chatting with some of my wonderful friends. I’m enjoying my week off and aim to get lots of writing, editing and submitting done! And I hope to finish reading the book I’m currently about half way through, Dead Gone by Luca Veste – if you haven’t read it Asda are doing a very reasonably priced copy for £3 or you can pick it up of Amazon on kindle for pennies.

Take care everyone, and keep smiling 🙂