Friday, 27 March 2015

Celebrate the small things

Hi all and happy Friday. This week my celebration is an easy choice. Our youngest is coming home from uni this weekend for the Easter break. So looking forward to seeing her and catching up.

In other news, I finally spent a *pleasant* evening scrubbing the tiles in the shower. Hard work but satisfying!

The cherry tree in the front garden is starting to blossom. So pretty.

Thanks to Lexa and co-hosts 
L.G. Keltner @ Writing Off The Edge
Katie @ TheCyborgMom

Monday, 23 March 2015

A Change of Mind and Other Stories

Title: A Change of Mind and Other Stories
Author: Nick Wilford
Genre: Contemporary speculative fiction
Cover Design: Rebekah Romani
Release Date: May 25th 2015

Today I am pleased to be able to help Nick with the cover reveal for his upcoming release. Congratulations Nick!

A Change of Mind and Other Stories consists of a novella, four short stories and one flash fiction piece. This collection puts the extremes of human behaviour under the microscope with the help of lashings of dark humour, and includes four pieces previously published in Writer’s Muse magazine.

In A Change of Mind, Reuben is an office worker so meek and mild he puts up with daily bullying from his boorish male colleagues as if it’s just a normal part of his day. But when a stranger points him in the direction of a surgeon offering a revolutionary new procedure, he can’t pass up the chance to turn his life around.

But this isn’t your average surgeon. For a start, he operates alone in a small room above a mechanic’s. And he promises to alter his patients’ personality so they can be anything they want to be…

In Marissa, a man who is determined to find evidence of his girlfriend’s infidelity ends up wondering if he should have left well alone.

The Dog God finds a chink in the armour of a man with a megalomaniacal desire to take over the world.

In The Insomniac, a man who leads an obsessively regimented lifestyle on one hour’s sleep a night finds a disruption to his routine doesn’t work for him.

Hole In One sees a dedicated golfer achieving a lifelong ambition.

The Loner ends the collection on a note of hope as two family members try to rebuild their lives after they are torn apart by jealousy.
Click for Options 

Nick Wilford is a writer and stay-at-home dad. Once a journalist, he now makes use of those rare times when the house is quiet to explore the realms of fiction, with a little freelance editing and formatting thrown in. When not working, he can usually be found spending time with his family or cleaning something. Nick is also the editor of Overcoming Adversity: An Anthology for Andrew. You can find him hanging out on his blog or on Goodreads or Twitter.

Preorder Links: Amazon US, Amazon UK

Friday, 20 March 2015

Celebrate the small things

Here's a small group of things to celebrate! 

Thanks to my daughter's I can now say I have fairies living at the bottom of the garden! Last Sunday in the UK it was Mother's Day and I was sent outside to look for something magical. Near the apple trees, nestled against the wall, was a little door, a group of toadstools and a fairy. So cute, and a perfect pressie for me. 

I tried another new recipe this week. A Jamie Oliver one this time. Sticky chicken thighs with squashed new potatoes. Another success and easy to do as the final cooking is all in one dish.

Also got to mention the solar eclipse this morning. It was only a partial eclipse so didn't go fully dark, more an eerie gloom descended and it went very cold, but still worth witnessing. I am going to check it out on the internet later so I can see the effect on the sun properly. I remember the last total eclipse in August 1999. I was stood in a field and watching the darkness creep across the valley. That was spine tingling. Everywhere was so still and quiet.

What is everyone celebrating this week? I'll be hopping around to see.

Happy weekend.

Thanks to our host Lexa and her team 

L.G. Keltner @ Writing Off The Edge

Katie @ TheCyborgMom

Friday, 13 March 2015

Celebrate the small things

Thanks to Lexa and co -hosts L.G. Keltner @ Writing Off The Edge and 
Katie @ TheCyborgMom 

Sorry I didn't post last week, no particular reason, I just ran out of time! It is quite worrying that the weeks seem to be speeding by at such a rate. 

This week I am highlighting the following as reasons to celebrate:

* I have been wearing my new glasses for a week now and I have adjusted to the new lenses. I took a photo, but at the time of writing this post, it doesn't want to up load! I'll try and add it later.

* I am loving the smell of my 'Fairy Dust' scented candle. A perfect accompaniment to a writing session. 

* It's the weekend! Tired this week and so looking forward to a bit of free time over the weekend and hoping the sore throat I seem to have developed doesn't get any worse.

Wishing you all a happy and peaceful weekend.

Wednesday, 4 March 2015

IWSG (March)

                                      Many thanks as ever to Alex 

Thanks also to our co-hosts for this month Chemist Ken,Suzanne Sapseed, and Shannon Lawrence

"The task we must set for ourselves is not to feel secure, but to be able to tolerate insecurity."
German psychoanalyst Eric Fromm (1900 to 1980)  

Don't you think this is true? I stumbled across this quote a while ago and it stuck with me.

When you really think about it, what do we need/desire to make us feel totally secure? And, should all the stars align and those 'things' were to happen, would it make us feel secure for ever? I doubt it because our life's are constantly evolving and changing and therefore our insecurities are fluid as well.

Writers seem to have a never ending pot of insecurity into which to delve, it goes with the job. Criticism and rejection, however nicely worded or presented, can fuel our own destructive thoughts. But the same must be true of any creative pursuits. Writers, artists, sculptors, musicians, and many others, all create something that they hope will be enjoyed and appreciated. But the fact is the process of 'putting something out there' exposes you to comment, good and not so good.

So, insecurity is normal. It is totally acceptable to feel insecure, indeed we should expect it. If (and I know it might be a big if at times!) we can do this, then maybe we can work on the learning to tolerate it part.

Personally this month I feel insecurity knocking on the door. I've work on submission so it would be strange if I didn't have these feelings.

But ... I am working on the tolerating part. I am distracting myself with a new project and allowing myself to do things unrelated to writing. Taking a walk, spending time with family and just catching up on some long overdue chores at home. At the very least I'll be able to enjoy a clean and tidy house for a while!

I hope you are all finding ways to tolerate your insecurities this month.

Friday, 27 February 2015

Celebrate the small things

It is always good to stay positive and that is why I like this simple hop so much. It really makes you stop and think about the last few days. Sometimes the good stuff really pops out at you and finding the celebrations is easy. Other weeks things may not have gone so well, and the last thing you feel like doing is celebrating, but it is amazing how thinking of the simplest thing can lift your spirits.  

I tried a new recipe. Do you get fed up of cooking the same meals for the family? Sometimes I just want to shake it all up a bit and try something different! I flicked through a cook book and decided on a Mary Berry chicken recipe using cream cheese, sun blushed tomatoes, garlic and lemon, then covered in a few fresh breadcrumbs parmesan cheese and chives. Should have taken a picture but only thought about it after we'd eaten it! Will definitely make it again. Whilst searching, a few other things caught my eye, so I think I will test some other new recipes over the coming weeks.

I've done a little writing this week. Only a few hundred words on my new project, but it's progress. I've been so busy with editing the last few weeks that it is quite nice to think about something new. I am starting to visualise these new characters and their conversations are playing in my head, which I think is a promising sign.

Following on from last week's post reference the new glasses, I can report a decision has been made! Thank you so much for all your comments, it was really interesting to read them. As I was struck with a bug for a couple of days last week, it was the weekend before I went back into the opticians and, as it happened, this was a good thing. A new delivery of frames had just arrived! Conversation went something like:

Optician -  "I think we may have something new in you'll like."
Me - " Really?" 
Husband - sighs and mutters under his breath, "Oh no, we are going to be here for hours!"
Me - "Are they purple?"
Optician - "Yes."

You get the picture, right? Anyway, they should arrive in a couple of weeks. I will post a picture when I have them.

Finally, this week I'd like to celebrate the power of a hug and the warmth of a friendly smile, whether a giver or receiver be.

Please note I may have little access to internet over the weekend so I will visit blogs and return comments as I am able. Thanks for visiting. Hope you all  have a lovely weekend.

Thanks to Lexa for hosting. Follow the link to sign up for this fun and easy hop.
Also thanks to co-hosts L.G. Keltner @ Writing Off The Edge

Katie @ TheCyborgMom

Friday, 20 February 2015

What's been happening and Celebrations!

A mixed bag of a week really. It's half term week in the UK and as I work in school that means a week out of the daily routines for me too! And I had loads planned writing wise.
  • Complete the final polish on my ms (tick)
  • Write a compelling synopsis and wining covering letter (tick, I hope!)
  • Submit to carefully selected agents (tick). All good so far ....   
Then, I started work on a shiny new project to help me keep my fingers and brain employed while I wait to hear back from some of those submissions. It is something a bit different for me, definitely outside my comfort zone. But then my yoga teacher told me only this week it is good to step outside your comfort zone, so I am really only taking her advice!

Just to give you a little info on the new project. It will be aimed at the 5-8 age group and, although it could stand on it's own as a story, I feel it has good series potential, so I am planning three stories initially, using the main two characters in different situations. I have read an awful lot on agent/publisher websites, blogs and Twitter recently that talk about wanting 'character driven' stories. So I am going to work on developing the characters into something unique and memorable. The other thing I have been reading about recently is humour in children's stories. And I guess this is really where I am stepping out my comfort zone, in that I am trying my hand at writing humour. That silly kind of childish humour has always appealed to me, some might say I never actually grew up, but maybe that's not such a bad thing for a children's writer!

Anyway, 4,000 words in and I'm loving it! It's fun and it's silly and just a little bit random in places, but I think it is working. There's a long way to go with it, but early indications are positive, and I'm happy to just see how things go for now. At least it has stopped me checking my email every 5 mins, just in case there's been an early response to my submission!

In non writerly news I took a trip to the optician. I need some new glasses, but I always find it difficult to make a decision. They will be quite expensive as I have varifocals so I don't want to make a costly mistake.The lovely lady in the optician took some pictures of me wearing the three pairs we whittled it down to. She emailed them to me to look at further, and so that I could show to husband and daughter at home.

Daughter said, "They all look the same to me," and husband said, "I bet you go for the purple ones whatever!" Frankly, not a great deal of help! 

Yes, I am drawn to the purple ones, but is it just the colour? I'm worried I am incapable of making a rational decision on things any more because of my colour obsession. The purple would be the cheapest option actually because they are from the kid's range. I always have a problem finding glasses that fit because of the shape of my head. Now, before you all start laughing and scanning my photo for clues, I simply mean I am quite narrow across that part of my face, and I often feel that styles stick out too much.

The second  pair are brown with a little bit of turquoise green on the inner frames. They fit well and I like the shape, I think they make me look grown-up and professional. (Note earlier point about never growing up). If only they were purple (sorry, see my problem!). 

The third pair, the lady described as 'quirky.' Aha, I thought the perfect compromise. They are a pinky brown colour with a little green stripe on the arms. Green is obviously the 'in' colour in spectacle fashion this season. But I'm just not sure ....

I think I need to go back and try them all on again. I will take husband for back-up. Place your bets, which do you think I will go for? Results to be revealed in the near future.

I also took a trip to the dentist. Need to go back there for a filling. 

I got a stomach bug yesterday. Nuff said on that one! Thankfully feeling bit better today although rather drained. Hopefully will have the energy to do a little writing later.

So, that was my week. Quite a lot to celebrate and a few things that made me feel blah or want to tear my hair out! A quiet weekend is in order I think, so I feel ready to go back to the real world on Monday morning.

But just before I go, I thought I'd share this link with you on writing a synopsis.If any of you are about to tackle this tricky task you might want to check it out.

Thanks to the lovely Lexa and her fabulous co-hosts L.G. Keltner @ Writing Off The Edge Katie @ TheCyborgMom