Writing, plans and smiles…


It’s been such a busy month, or is that just me? Seems like this year is just flying by – one of those blink and you miss it moments. On the plus side, spring time is rapidly approaching which is always a lovely time of year. Buds sprouting, baby birds in the nests, and best of all, warmer weather (for those who don’t particularly like the winter months – those unlike me!!)

I’ve been particularly busy – lots of writing and editing going on. Book 4, Watch You Burn, is now well under way and officially passed the half way point around 5000 words ago! It’s hard to describe how exciting that feels – when you start the novel, it looms ahead like an almost impossible task, then you learn to love your characters, the plot starts to make sense, and before you know it you pass the quarter mile. Then the twists and turns start happening, and the plot becomes more intricate, throwing you curve balls that even you didn’t see coming. I know my WIP (work in progress) did! Out of nowhere a man with a baseball bat arrived at my crime scene – and I won’t give you any other teasers, but suffice to say he shocked me with his arrival. I’ve also been editing book 3.

People often ask how I have time to write when I work full time – there isn’t an easy answer to this, but I would say that most of it comes down to planning. I’m quite lucky to have a job, that on the occasions when it isn’t too busy, allows a little freedom for doing ones own thing – some people read, some do puzzles, and I write. I also schedule in writing time on my rest days from my day job, whether that be sitting in Starbucks with my author friend Eileen Wharton, or sitting on the couch in my pyjamas. If  I don’t schedule the time in and use my writing diary, then unfortunately procrastination takes over and I find other things to do. This means I have to be quite strict with myself. It also means I need to plan in advance.

I’m currently working on the behind the scenes stuff that’s involved in self-publishing – the plan is to release a short story at the back end of this year that will lead into the publication of my first novel, With Deadly Intent, next year by the lovely folk at Caffeine Nights Publishing. The short story is a prequel – back story to one of my main characters. I’m working with a fab cover designer, and it’s already with my editor so it’s all go! I’ll naturally keep my blog up to date with releases etc.

As well as being so busy, it’s been a funny old month in general. You all know I suffer depression, and my lovely hubby suffers anxiety – he’s been quite bad of late but you’ll be pleased to learn he is now picking up and is feeling much better. I had been struggling with some pain, and had bloods at the docs which have come back and resulted in a referral to hospital – for another hidden disease which I’ll go more into when it’s been confirmed. Makes me remember an old saying though – ‘You never know what struggles other people are going through’ or words to that effect anyway. Lots of us have hidden diseases and disabilities that aren’t visible or spoken about. We all have battles we fight, and suffering we hide. It’s always worth remembering that when you look at other people. Suffering with the things I have makes me reluctant to judge others – I have become more understanding because of the battles I fight, and in some ways, I think, a stronger person. Just because someone smiles widely, doesn’t necessarily mean they are happy. Most people don’t like to burden other people with their woes – how many of us tell the truth when someone asks how we are? The standard issue answer of ‘I’m fine’ always pops onto the tongue, for me anyway. Sometimes we just have to learn to accept the ‘I’m fine’ but also understand that people are not always fine.

I smile easily – I’m a pretty positive person, and I enjoy interacting with people as well as spending time on my own. I have always been a smiler – my junior school teacher Mrs Muztachs saw me when I was 16 and working in Morrisons, and said then that she’d never forget me because of my smile. A smile makes all the difference – it makes difficult things a little easier, it makes those around us see we are approachable, and of course, it uses less muscles in the face than it takes to frown, therefore making it an excellent beauty tip – I often get comments that I don’t look as old as I am – and I think that’s because I smile. This is just my way of saying keep smiling, like I do at the end of every blog post, albeit a little extended today. If smiling instinctively makes us happier, even just for a moment on our darkest days, then it’s worth doing more. So, as always, keep smiling 🙂