Thursday, 30 November 2017

How NaNoWriMo almost gave me the bends

Don't ask me why I'm using a sea analogy for this. I have no idea. Just bear with me, and dive in.


I'm a Pantser, I can't and don't plot. Seeing others planning actually was a cause of anxiety before NaNoWriMo even began. Should I be doing something? I have a vague idea, maybe the first paragraph in my head. Is that enough? 

Oh, NaNoWriMo is the National Novel Writing Month.
A whole load of crazy authors pledge to write 50,000 words in November. 
Just in case you didn't know. 

1st November arrived, and I just had to take the plunge. I dived straight in with the one little bit I already knew. 

Where this story would take me after that was anyone's guess. 


I immersed myself in the story as I wrote. I learnt a lot in a very short space of time. For instance, what florists do the other six days of the week. Turns out they're always busy. Who knew? 😉😁

It was all very pretty. I was enjoying the scenery and getting to know the characters. Aw, isn't writing wonderful? Happy place. lalala. 


Then I disappeared into a plothole (*insert dramatic music here*). 
I felt like Alice, falling down a dark place. 
Where on Earth was I? What was happening? 

And then I had some days of NOT writing!! Argh, I was behind my target. How would I ever catch up? Panic set in.


This is never going to happen. I'm too far behind. Already there's others who are finishing, but I'm way behind. All is lost. Abort, abort! 

I started trying to fight my way to the surface, hurrying too quickly. I was in danger of getting the bends. 


But then my lovely writing buddies rallied around. 
"Just keep writing, just keep writing," they reminded me. 
I'm great at giving this advice to others. Rubbish at actually following it myself. 

I listened. 
I read the useful tips on the NaNoWriMo site, and their emails. 
Others were posting lovely memes about how to write, how plots should be formed etc.
OK, I did too, but you can't expect me to pay attention to my own posts. Really. 

But with a bit of hand holding, I was able to push on. I relaxed, and allowed myself to just go with the flow. 

I had a really good writing day. I woke up naturally (no alarm clock), and had the plot drifting through my mind as I was finally in that place between sleep and awake. I usually rely on this when I write, but it hadn't happened yet during this book. Hello, old friend. Thank you. I have a direction again.

Not wishing to lose my mojo, I stayed at home on the Saturday whilst my husband and his children went out and had fun without me 😭

But it was worth it. I was back on track. Just in time, as I then headed into the final week. 

And then it happened. On Tuesday 29th November 2017, I hit the magic 50,000 word goal. 
(*insert fanfares, confetti and much merriment*)


I emerged victorious!
I came, I saw, I conquered.
Oh the relief, the sheer sense of achievement. It was amazing.
Even I had to admit my own awesomeness (I don't do this very often). 
I was a winner! 

So, was it all worth it?
The sweat, the worry, the stress, the pressure, the difficult times?
Hell yeah! 
It was a terrific motivator. I'm really glad I took part in my first ever NaNoWriMo.

And honestly, if you take part and don't reach 50k who cares? 
It's more of a guideline anyway. 😉
As long as you have more words than when you started, you are a winner. 


But every writer knows, this is only the beginning.
There is more story to go before I can proudly pronounce 'the end'.
Then there will be the (*drumroll*)... EDITING!!! 😱 (*scream*)

Congratulations to all writers who took part, or are just writing on their own. 
You're doing a great job. 
Keep telling your tails; see what I did there? 😉


Always with love & light,
TL







Tuesday, 21 November 2017

What's the deal about Christmas?


No, I'm not a Grinch. That's not what this article's about.
But what is it with Christmas, that makes some people pout? 
It is a time to be filled with love, goodwill and cheer.
But all around me, lots of moaning is what I hear. 

It is far too soon to decorate your room,
Never you mind that it banishes the gloom. 
Nothing should be done until late December.
And it should be about Jesus, remember. 

Christmas songs are being played in shops,
Even in the butchers. I just want chops! 
We'll be sick of it by the time the day is here. 
Never mind, we'll have the same argument next year. 

Tee hee. Like my little Ode to a Christmas Cynic?
Every year we have the same moaning and whinging from some, whilst others are over excited, and have the tree up by the end of November.
The shops put their Christmas adverts out nice and early. Well, they've spent a fortune trying to lure us in; they want to get their money's worth.
"It's over commercialised," I hear some say. And yes, it is in a way.

My step children are both in their teens. There is no Father Christmas, and no magic for him to bring.
They're not even overly bothered by presents, and barely glance up from their devices as family gather around.
I had been wondering why I even bother with the big festive feast. I cook turkey with all the trimmings every year. I really like doing it, but it gets stressful, and hubby doesn't overly like turkey.
I tried goose one year, but it was considerably more expensive, and only hubby appreciated it.

But, without the turkey, pigs in blankets, bread sauce (made with brioche), cranberry sauce etc. we don't really have anything. At this stage of our lives the meal IS our Christmas. That's a bid sad, isn't it?

(this is what I look like in my head, but in reality I'm more off a half drunk sweaty mess)

We're not Christians. Not that many among our acquaintance are either. Those of our friends who get the most excited are actually the least religious. Odd!
So, we don't have church to attend, or Jesus to cherish.

It could be argued it's not really a Christian festival. There are those who would point out that Jesus was born some time around April. But it's celebrated on December 25th as it covered up the pagan festival of Yule.

Now Yule is definitely something I can get into.
You may have noticed, I'm part witch. But even without that, I love what Yule represents.
It celebrates the return of the light. The Winter Solstice marks the shortest day just before Christmas Day.
It brings hope that days will now start to become longer again. And spring isn't too far away.

I get SAD. My mood plummets around this time of year (hence this article).
I really struggle, and just want to hibernate like a little bear until crocuses start to emerge.
Regrettably, I'm human. Humans must carry on.

So, I decorate my tree at the start of December. I worked out it's better environmentally to buy a plastic one and re-use it for many years. No needle drop either ;-) So, I can feasibly decorate it, and bring some much needed, beloved light into my home.
This also serves as a memory jog, a nudge to get out and buy the few presents I need to buy.



Incidentally, a few years back I put a spending limit on presents. Bless him, hubby became over enthusiastic. This was lovely, and I got very spoiled, but I'm crap at buying presents, so it actually made me feel bad.
This year I've asked him to sponsor a girl for me. I've seen adverts on TV about it. The poor girls in other countries who are dragged out of school and forced into marriage at a ridiculously young age, where all kinds of horrors await.
I have all I need. They clearly do not. If I can help even one of them, is this not a better gift? To give someone a life is surely a wonderful thing.

Anyway, I'm getting off track.
Whether you are already sitting amongst piles of wrapped presents, more excited than a kid in a sweet shop.
Or whether you're sat with your 'bah humbug' hat on, scowling.
Or even if you're crying because it reminds you of a loved one who's no longer here, and celebrating is the last thing you feel like doing.
That's OK.

Christmas is a deeply personal thing.
It means something different to each one of us.
I'm not going to judge you. Just as I ask you not to judge me.

Celebrate in your own sodding way, and stop worrying about what others are doing!
Stop having the same argument every year. We're allowed our own opinion.

Please remember that every religion will teach you a fundamental truth:
Love is the way. Hold compassion in your heart.

So, whatever and however you're celebrating...
I wish you love & light. 
And to all a goodnight.



Psst...this would make a great stocking filler for adults:



Saturday, 18 November 2017

What do I look like?


So, the time is nigh! 
Having kept myself in the shadows, a little like the great Banksy, I am finally about to reveal myself. 

I've been self-published for 4.5 years, and have 7 books out in the world, yet nobody has seen any proper pictures of author me.

I did this firstly as a form of protection. I write under a pseduonym.
This was partly to protect myself, but also those connected with me. 
But this is now less of an issue. 

It has also forced me to use my writing in its own right. 
My words and books have been able to speak for themselves without interference. 

But it has kept me in the shadows.
This was a good thing, but also a bad one. 

So, I'm going to break the chains of my own making. 
But only once I've reached 1,000 followers on Instagram. 
Clever marketing? No, I'm really not that clever. 
I just need the support to take the final plunge. 

Having been secret for so long, it's now weird and scary to reveal my appearance to you all. 
It's strange, but it's true. 
Think what Clark Kent would feel like telling his co-workers/fans that he is in fact Superman.
Or any of the superheroes, for that matter.
Not that I'm a superhero. I'm just a normal person. Actually, you'll probably be really disappointed. 



So, to find out whether I'm a beauty or a beast (or just something in between), please go and follow me on Instagram, spread the news (there's a post on Faceook and Twitter


Thank you for your support. 

Always in love & light,
TL


Friday, 27 October 2017

Book Review - Watermelon is nuts!



Date read: 27th October 2017

My rating: 4.5*

Genre I reckon: Chick-lit

Buy Link: Amazon




Oh dear, I've not read many excellent books this year. Apologies I've been quiet on here. I've been ever so busy.

Anyway, I've finally read a book worthy of a blog post.

I have seen and heard Marian Keyes interviewed, and have recently started stalking...err...following her on Twitter. She comes across as mad as a box of frogs, in a deliciously wonderful sort of way.

This is actually my 1st time reading one of her novels (*insert shocked gasps here*)

And I'm delighted to find she writes as she speaks.
It's very chatty, and liable to rambling, but I love it.

I love how even Claire's internal thoughts and emotions are given life; they talk to each other and jockey for position in her head.

The story is brutally real (no Mills & Boon-ness here!), and tragically funny. The story should be really sad, given poor Claire's fall from grace. But it's dotted with humour which had me giggling like a fool.

btw watermelon refers to Claire's shape when she's pregnant. And I miss its depiction on the cover. It seems to have been given the boot completely now, which is sad.

Is it perfectly written without mistakes? No.
Is it going to appeal to everyone? What person does?
Do I care? Not a jot.

I'm going to be reading a lot more books by this lady.


Tuesday, 10 October 2017

M J Collette's Audio Book Blog Tour - 18+ ONLY

Hopefully I've got an 18+ agreement on this account.
But I will double up the warning here. Please do not read on unless you are 18+. Seriously mature content to follow!

So, I've agreed to participate in M Jane Collette's Audio Book Blog Tour.
An excerpt is to follow.
As she's read True's Love by me, she knows I can be very smutty, so think she's reserved the rudest chapter for this very blog post.
So without further ado, here it is...



Welcome to Stop 14 of the Consequences AudioBook BlogTour
CUNT IN A BOARDROOM
from CONSEQUENCES (of defensive adultery)
an EROTIC tragedy with a HAPPY ending
by M. Jane Colette
performed by Elisa Kae

18+ ADVISORY: Consequences is intended for an adult (18+) audience. It deals with mature subject matter, and contains explicit language and sexual content. Listener and reader discretion is advised.
The tour is bringing romance readers and listeners the opportunity to listen to all 48 full, unabridged chapters of Consequences well in advance of the audiobook's Christmas release.
Plus, there are fabulous prizes at every stop, and 48 chances throughout the tour to enter to win a COMPLETE set of M. Jane Colette's paperbacks!

WHAT'S THIS BOOK ABOUT?
An affair. HEARTBREAK. Consequences.  ABSOLUTION, redemption, and LOVE… in the most unexpected places–a steamy second chance romance unlike any you’ve ever experienced… featuring an ALPHA lover-confessor you haven’t DARED dream about.

Elizabeth did not plan to break up his marriage when she had an affair with her law school professor. But she did. Fifteen years later, she’s still coming to terms with the consequences of her youthful infatuation: a stepdaughter who hates her, an ex-wife who will never forgive the betrayal,  a sister-in-law who’s determined to make Elizabeth her confidante. Compelled to reveal the "tragedy of her life" to a nameless lover, Elizabeth finds herself forced to reconsider her definition of love, commitment, and responsibility—a process that finally releases her from the shackles of her past mistakes and shows her the way to her own happily-ever-after.

A NOTE ABOUT STRUCTURE: The story unfolds over the course of one night, as the narrator Elizabeth relates the “tragedy of her life” to her current lover as they, to quote a reviewer “do lover things.” The story Elizabeth tells spans 15 years. The scenes between Elizabeth and her lover are pure dialogue, and interrupt the “story proper.” There is no “he said/I said” in the dialogue between Elizabeth and her lover… a challenge the narrator solved masterfully, but which may give the first-time listener pause. To increase your enjoyment of the story, an opportunity to read, as well as listen to, the chapter, is provided.


Today, we bring you Chapter 14: CUNT IN A BOARDROOM.

"Help! I can't listen--I don't have headphones handy, I'm at work, and when I get home, my children will be underfoot! Plus, I'm more of a reader than a listener, you know?"


PREFER TO READ? We're on it. Here is a passworded-protected link to the written version of this chapter for tour participants' eyes only. Your password is tlclark, and your gateway is here: CHAPTER 14 :C*NT IN A BOARDROOM.

________

Enjoyed what you heard/read? The tour continues on Wed Oct 11 with Chapter 15 // BLACKMAIL

________


FIRST STOP: If this blog is your first stop on the tour, you might want to head back to stop number one, hosted by Tome Tender Blog: The Photograph, or to the Tour Home Page, and start from the beginning. There are chances to win prizes at every stop!


TODAY'S PRIZE: 
Click here to follow the link:

CONTEST LIVE UNTIL 12:00 am Nov 29, 2017

(If this link is not working for you, visit mjanecolette.com/ConAudioTour to enter)

GRAND PRIZE TREASURE HUNT ENTRY, PART 14: For a chance to win one of two COMPLETE HARD COPY SETS of M. Jane Colette's novels, send an email to TellMe@mjanecolette.com, and:
  1. put  #ConAudioTour Day 14 in the subject heading,
  2. ask to be added to her Rough Draft Confessions newsletter (or tell Jane you're already on her mailing list, and it's awesome, when's the next love letter coming?) and,
  3. answer the question: "Who calls Elizabeth... that word?"
Hint: The answer's contained in today's chapter.

(The small print: Each tour stop offers you one opportunity to enter the GRAND PRIZE TREASURE HUNT DRAW, for a total of 48 entries if you complete the tour. The books that comprise the GRAND PRIZE are the novels Tell Me, Cherry Pie Cure, and Consequences, and the non-fiction collection of essays Rough Draft Confessions, including its controversially titled, available-only-in-Canada, beta reader / limited edition predecessor.) 



CAN'T WAIT? BUY THE E-BOOK NOW:
including  iBooks  Kobo  Amazon  Barnes & Noble  Google Play  Inside Romance
Softcovers at all the usual places, including Chapters  Amazon  Barnes & Noble  Book Depository  Powell’s Books and your favourite retailer


AUDIOBOOK COMING CHRISTMAS 2017
sign up for M. Jane Colette's Rough Draft Confessions to get advance notice of its release
REMEMBER: The story continues on Wed Oct 11  with Chapter 15 // BLACKMAIL hosted by BOOKWORM BRANDEE.

_______

M. Jane Colette writes tragedy for people who like to laugh, comedy for the melancholy, and erotica for women and men who like their fantasies real. She believes rules and hearts were made to be broken; ditto the constraints of genres.

Connect with her on Twitter / GoodReads / FaceBook / Instagram and subscribe to her newsletter, Rough Draft Confessions, to stay in the loop on her WIPs, new releases, and fab multi-media, multi-author projects. You can also email her at TellMe@mjanecolette.com.

For more information about the tour & its other hosts, visit mjanecolette.com/ConAudioTour or check out the schedule below.

_______

Mon Sept 25 // Chapter 1 // THE PHOTOGRAPH hosted by TOME TENDER BOOK BLOG
Tues Sept 26 // Chapter 2 // PINK PANTIES hosted by KIM KNIGHT
Wed Sept 27 // Chapter 3 // HARD TO OPEN hosted by WICKED COOL FLIGHT
Thurs Sept 28 // Chapter 4 // ENTER THE ADULTERER hosted by MISHA ELLIOTT
Sat Sept 30 // Chapter 5 // THE WOMAN IN RED hosted by ALYSSA LINN PALMER
Sun Oct 1 // Chapter 6 // THE WHORE WHO WORE TURQUOISE hosted by DIRTY BAD BLOGGERS
Mon Oct 2 // Chapter 7 // CARELESS hosted by ELIZA DAVID
Tues Oct 3 // Chapter 8 // REVENGE SEX hosted by CAMERON ALLIE EROTICA
Wed Oct 4 // Chapter 9 // RENAMING DESTINY hosted by SO…WHATCHA READING?
Thurs Oct 5 // Chapter 10 // DREAMING OF SILENCE hosted by THE READING CAT
Fri Oct 6 // Weekly Recap at mjanecolette.com
Sat Oct 7 // Chapter 11 // BABY OIL hosted by JENNA HOWARD
Sun Oct 8 // Chapter 12 // SPERM DONOR hosted by AMAZEBALLS BOOK ADDICTS
Mon Oct 9 // Chapter 13 // ALWAYS THE WOMAN’S FAULT
co-hosted by Teri Hicks & Co’s READING OUT LOUD + SJs BOOK BLOG 
Tues Oct 10 // Chapter 14 // CUNT IN A BOARDROOM hosted by TL CLARK
Wed Oct 11  // Chapter 15 // BLACKMAIL hosted by BOOKWORM BRANDEE
Thurs Oct 12 // Chapter 16 // MAGIC CARPET RIDE hosted by SOUTHERN BRED & READ BOOK BLOG
Fri Oct 13 // Weekly + to-date recap on mjanecolette.com
Sat Oct 14 // Chapter 17 // CONDOMS IN A SUITCASE hosted by AMANDA SIEGRIST
Sun Oct 15 // Chapter 18 // COMING OUT hosted by MICHELE FOGAL
Mon Oct 16 // Chapter 19 // PRETTY BOY hosted by REAL TASTY PAGES
Tues Oct 17 // Chapter 20 // PROMISCUOUS POLYAMORY hosted by LOVES GREAT READS BLOG
Wed Oct 18 // Chapter 21 // EDUCATING PHILISTINES hosted by RAMPA PA GROUP
Thurs Oct 19 // Chapter 22 // FUCKING ARTISTS hosted by JENN’S BOOK OBSESSION
Fri Oct 20 // Weekly + to-date recap on mjanecolette.com
Sat Oct 21 // Chapter 23 // GUILT IN A TEA CUP hosted by SULTRY SIRENS
Sun Oct 22 // Chapter 24 // LABELS hosted by TORY RICHARDS
Mon Oct 23 // Chapter 25 // COERCION hosted by ROXANA NASTASE
Tues Oct 24 // Chapter 26 // UNGRATEFUL hosted by CASEY’S CORNER
Wed Oct 25 // Chapter 27 // DUPLICATE hosted by A DREAMER’S BOOK BLOG
Thurs Oct 26 // early weekly  & to-date recap on mjanecolette.com
Fri Oct 27 // Chapter 28 // SECRETS IN A VELVET BAG hosted by LOVE INDIE ROMANCE
Sat Oct 28 // Chapter 29 // BITTERSWEET COFFEE hosted by THE GENRE MINX BOOK REVIEWS
Sun Oct 29 // Chapter 30 // WORDS ON THE SCREEN hosted by DEELYLAH MULLIN
Mon Oct 30 // Chapter 31 // ADDICTIONS hosted by ANGELICA DAWSON
[no scheduled post on Tuesday, October 31 – Halloween]
Wed Nov 1 // Chapter 32 // ENABLER hosted by 2 CHICKS & A BOOK
Thurs Nov 2 //Chapter 33 // FOOLISH COUGAR hosted by A RISQUÉ BOOK AFFAIR BOOK BLOG
Fri Nov 3 // Chapter 34 // NO MORE hosted by KATE FOREST
Sat Nov 4 // Weekly & to-date recap on mjanecolette.com
Sun Nov 5 // Chapter 35 // CRASH hosted by MISS J MONROE
Mon Nov 6 // Chapter 36 // SUFFERING FOR ART hosted by T&A BOOK BLOG
Nov 7 // Chapter 37 // PLAYING CUPID hosted by MISCHA ELIOT
Wed Nov 8 // Chapter 38 // EMASCULATION hosted by PHOEBE ALEXANDER
Thurs Nov 9 // Chapter 39 // RITUAL hosted by ROMANCE NOVEL GIVEAWAYS
Fri Nov 10 // Weekly + to-date recap on mjanecolette.com 
Sat Nov 11 // no post, in respect of Veterans Day in USA and Remembrance Day in Canada
Sun Nov 12 // Chapter 40 // MUSE hosted by SIP READ LOVE
Mon Nov 13 // 41 // CHRISTMAS DAY hosted by DIRTY GIRL ROMANCE
Tues Nov 14 // Chapter 42 // CAST-OFFS hosted by JOJO THE BOOKAHOLIC
Wed Nov 15 // Chapter 43 // VIOLATION hosted by BOOK SNIFFERS ANONYMOUS
Thurs Nov 16 // Chapter 44 // AGAIN WITH THE CONFESSION hosted by WOPSY WOO BOOK BLOG
Fri Nov 17 // Weekly + to-date recap on mjanecolette.com
Sat Nov 18 // Chapter 45 // FETTERED, FREE hosted by CARRIE AUSTIN REVIEWS
Sun Nov 19 // Chapter 46 // ABSOLUTION hosted by READS2LOVE
Mon Nov 20 // Chapter 47 // THRESHOLD hosted by STEPHANIE’S BOOK REPORTS
FINALE: Tues Nov 21 // Chapter 48 //  AN UNSATISFACTORY ENDING hosted by (UN)CONVENTIONAL BOOK VIEWS
Wed Nov 22 // Full Recap on mjanecolette.com + Cyber Champagne Celebration of the Tour’s Success!
Thurs Nov 30 – GRAND PRIZE WINNERS ANNOUNCED on mjanecolette.com