Christmas is in the air...

Friday, 29 November 2013

... And it's all over the floor of my home office. 

As I mentioned before, I have a load of bows to make for the craft show I'm at next weekend. I have been working at them every night (except a couple when I haven't been able to stay awake past the kids bedtimes). 

Last night, I officially started the Christmas-y bows. Tonight I'm back at all things jolly, plus some One Direction, Justin Beiber (I know, I can't stand him either), Cinderella, and minions. While I'm very excited about making them-- in fact, I can't wait to get the little monster to bed so I can get started-- all of those jingle bells and sparkles make me long to curl up in my onesie with a cup of chai and a Christmas romance. 

For a long time now, I have looked forward to the release of the Harlequin Christmas stories just about as much as I look forward to the arrival of candy canes in stores (and that is saying something!).  This year I am scouring the Entangled Publishing site for holiday themes to see what they have, too. There is just something about a wintery, feel-good romance to get you through the crowds, crap weather, and cash-flow nightmares. 

I like writing holiday inspired stories, too. My suspense is set at Halloween and when I planned out the series I am writing, I chose Valentine's Day, Fourth of July, and Thanksgiving as inspiration, but I think I might have to add Christmas in there as well. 

What are your favourite holidays for romance?


Monday, 25 November 2013

There are so many things I'd do differently if I had it all to do over again. And some would surprise you. Days like today would certainly have been avoided. But I won't moan about the mistakes I've made or what I wish I had done differently. Instead, I'll tell you this. My wish for my children is that they find true happiness, whatever that may be.


Friday, 15 November 2013

Well, it's Friday. Which for me these days means two things: 1. I am still going to have to get up at the crack of dawn even if I don't have to go to work, and 2. I need to make bows for the craft show. I started making hair bows for Bug and it has gotten out of hand. (In case you want to have a nosey you can see them on Facebook at Southern Bug Bows.)

These were my Halloween cheer bows.

#My cheerleading program is hosting a Christmas Craft Fair on December 7th and I am having a stall. It was my idea to host if, after all. And I knew the extra cash would come in handy just before Christmas. And I really thought I'd have time to make loads of bows before the day. Sadly, that has not been the case. In fact, I have made very few bows. So few, that I am wondering if I can even fill a stall. So, I better get to work. God knows the baby dolls and Legos aren't going to buy themselves...

Fast Drafting

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Okay, I admit that I have pretty much given up on NaNo at this point. Sad, but true. In fact,  I just said to a work colleague that I have looked forward to it all year and now can't find time to sit down, let alone write. Honestly, anyone who says 'if you really want to write, you will make time' clearly has a lot less on their plate than me. Or has access to some kind of super caffeine and no longer requires sleep.

What I have done is read... and research. It isn't too hard to squeeze a quick read, say a blog post, in between patients in clinic. And although I am disappointed that I won't finish NaNo, I have learned something I think may prove to be valuable. Maybe a few things. Probably the most important of these is that not every writer uses the same 'method' to get the words down. Yeah, I know that's kind of obvious, but hear me out.

I keep reading about how I should write everyday. Let's be honest. I don't even get to shower everyday. There is no chance I'll get to write everyday,  or at least not until the kids have moved out. I've read loads of posts on what methods various published authors use. Most of which still preach 'write every day'. But this week I have come across another method,  one that just might work for me. That is if I tweak it a bit.

The method is called fast drafting and it originates from a workshop taught by a woman called Candace Havens. Essentially,  you write 70k in 14 days by concentrating on page count instead of word count.  There are a few rules,  like don't read what you have previously written, but the big one is 'write 20 pages a day for 14 consecutive days'.

There is no way I can do 14 consecutive days. And sitting down long enough to write 20 pages seems unlikely,  but I have an idea. I think I'll try a lower page count at first. For example, I need roughly 30k to finish Valentine Bride. If I shoot for 10 pages (estimating 250 words per page) over 12 non-consecutive days, that would do it. Furthermore,  I could aim to do 4 days a week and finish in 3 weeks. Then I could try to up my page count and/or days per week for my next project so that eventually I am hitting the 60k mark in a month.

I am thinking of making my first draft more of a 'bare bones', telling. That way I can capture the entire story on the page while it is still fresh and exciting. I am also thinking of writing my fast draft by hand so I can steal random minutes here and there instead of trying to find time to sit at or get to the computer. It's worth a shot, anyway. So, I'm going to spend the next week or so (since I am ridiculously  busy) plotting a couple of projects in preparation.

If you've done fast drafting or have another unusual way of raising your word count,  I'd love to hear about it.  Happy writing!

Being an adult sucks...

Monday, 11 November 2013

Seriously. Have you ever had one of those days where you wonder why the hell you got up in the first place? Today has been like that.

First, I struggled to get the kids ready all the while DH leisurely drank his coffee, complained about going to work and the 'long day' he had ahead of him, then headed off on his SIX MINUTE commute.

Long day? I got up at 6am and chopped up the ingredients for a beef stew and loaded it all in the crock pot. Then I got my shower, got dressed, helped Hunter get dressed, made him breakfast, dressed Scarlett, made her breakfast, got both of them dressed to head out the door for the 30 minute drive to get to nursery and a further five minute drive to school. Then at school, the teacher informs me that Hunter isn't responding to the special measures put in place and has been lashing out for frequently. Oh, and parents are coming in to complain regularly. Which, of course, pushed me to tears. After that bomb, I started on my 30 minute drive to work, which was twice as long thanks to a back up on the motorway. And it was grey and rainy and cold.

Work was okay, in spite of my tendencies to start crying at my desk. I couldn't go into clinic because I was afraid to cry in front of my patients (never good when working with any patients, but really bad when working with cancer patients). So, I do my shift with (thankfully) only one doctor witnessing a break down and head to pick up the kids-- Hunter from link club (after school care) and Scarlett from nursery. I race home, praying all the way that the crock pot hasn't burnt the house down, and find that the stew is lovely, but I can't eat yet because I have to feed the kids, bathe Scarlett, and clean the kitchen-- all the while DH who came home only minutes after me gets in his pj's and settles in to watch TV. With both kids in bed, I finally managed to get in my pj's, eat a quick bowl of stew, and complete a database for a research project I am involved in. And now I'm blogging at 10pm. And trying to keep my eyes open.

So as you can imagine, NaNo isn't going so well. :(

Weekend? What weekend?

Saturday, 9 November 2013

Believe it or not, since Hunter has given up football and we don't have a game every Saturday I seem to have less time on the weekend. Go figure. It is striking how quickly I was able to find things to fill the time. Or how quickly others were able to fill my time. I love my family. Really. 

One of the things I'm up to this weekend is a project for one of the doctors at work. A data base that I had hoped to complete for him this weekend... And, of course, I still haven't made bows for the up-coming craft fair... I'd like to get back to sewing Scarlett's mermaid doll... Oh, and as far as NaNo goes, I've written like 1345 words... Shit.

So, I'm going to go get a shower while the minions are being entertained by Daddy. We have a birthday party to attend at one. Boy, the fun never stops, does it? ;-)

Happy weekend everyone!

Visiting The Rixton Witch

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

** This post is from 28/10/13. I have only just realised it never published.**

There really is nothing better than heading to the pumpkin patch in October. Today has been one of those days I wouldn't trade for the world-- I got to spend it with my two favourite pumpkins :-)

My Legacy

          'My face lit up like a firework. 
          My eyes glimmered like stars. 
                       I was amazed. 
           My hands shook ferociously...'

Those are my son's words. My six-year-old son who is going through a million things right now-- including a serious crisis of self-esteem thanks to on-going bullying and an evaluation for ADHD and ASD. God bless him. 

The teacher asked them to describe how they felt when they moved into their newly built school and that was what he wrote. Of course, the spelling and handwriting weren't great, but still... That description! It brings tears to my eyes.

The following week he told me that writing is 'his hobby', so I took him out to buy his first writing journal. Since then he has written one short story. He keeps asking if he and I can have a 'writing day' soon where we drink hot cocoa and work on our stories. I think that sounds heavenly.

I'm dropping my hours at the gym again, to Sundays only with the occasional Tuesday or Wednesday, so I'm thinking that maybe he and I will do a half an hour together before bed each night. It would be a great way to help him develop his writing, learn to value himself, and it would be a wonderful way for us to spend some time together. 

My childhood was not overly accepting of my writing. I was teased for it and told I would never make anything of it. Even now, I wonder if I'm too late to really get anywhere with it. Nonetheless, I am so pleased to have passed my love of writing onto Hunter. And I am going to do everything in my power to help him realise his dreams-- whatever they may be.

So far, so good...

Monday, 4 November 2013

It has been a relatively low-drama morning for once. The little one is dressed cute and in nursery, the big one is happily colouring a picture for his girl friend in the back of the car. It's Monday and there was only a small amount of drama before we left the house-- thank God for the little things...

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