After my participation in the A to Z Challenge during the merry month of April, I was all blogged out. I’d somehow – don’t ask me how, because I’ve no idea – managed to come up with twenty-six different topics to blog about, all starting with the appropriate letter. Even more astonishing, I’d remembered to schedule them. And I’d scheduled them correctly. Give that girl a pat on the back! By the thirtieth of April, however, I was feeling a bit weary, and resolved to take some time off blogging.
On May 1st, I broke the resolution immediately by taking part in the Lovely Blog tour, at the invitation of my Write Romantic pal, Jo Bartlett. But that, I decided, was that. No more blogging for another month. Then another of my Write Romantic pals, Jessica Redland, asked me to be the first guest on her blog. How could I refuse that invitation? So I agreed to that, too, and you can read my post here. Jessica, by the way, has a fabulous new website that you may like to check out. It’s absolutely gorgeous and you can see it in all its glory here.
Not blogging freed up a little bit of time, and May has actually been quite a productive month for me. I finished the novella I’d started, and I’m quite impressed that I managed to bring in a story at just under 41,000 words. I’ll let you know what happens with that one. I’ve also done a first draft for a short story, and I’m now looking at it and wondering, if I turn the viewpoint around completely, will that make it more interesting, and unpredictable? Hmm, I’ll think about that one. And, best of all, I’ve made real progress with book three! Now that really is good news, because it’s been really worrying me for simply ages. Nothing I tried felt right and the story just wasn’t working. I put it away for a few months – yes, honestly, months! – and tried to think about something else entirely, while I got A Kiss from a Rose ready to send to the editor, beta read two other writers’ novels, and worked on the novella. Then I had a lightbulb moment. It came to me, in a flash (so an exploding lightbulb moment!) that I was writing about the wrong character entirely. That was the problem. When I sent her packing (sorry, sweetie) and focused on a different character, the story began to take shape immediately. This has given me so much relief, I can’t begin to tell you. So I won’t. Although I rather think I just did.
Anyway, I’ve been writing a scene a day in my little office, so my husband knows I mean business. If I’m downstairs, tapping away on the laptop, he can be quite sure that I’m on Facebook, Twitter or Googling pointless things in the name of research. If I’m in my office, sitting at my desk, staring at the large computer monitor, he knows I’m doing real writing. And I won’t leave that room until I’ve written at least one scene. That’s the rule.
I’ve also managed to get a bit more reading done. I’ve read Jessica’s novella, Raving about Rhys (you can read my review here), as well as being lucky enough to read both her debut novel, Searching for Steven, and her follow-up book, the second in the Whitsborough Bay series. I absolutely loved them! I’ve also read Louise Marley’s novella, Something Wicked, and I posted a review of that, too, which you can read here. I’m currently reading two books – Helen Phifer’s The Secrets of the Shadows, and Valerie-Anne Baglietto’s The Moon on a Stick. I’m loving them both!
When I popped over to post my reviews on here, I thought the blog was looking a bit tired, so I had a play around with background colours and fonts, and then made a header picture. I’ve used a similar one for my Facebook writer’s page here. I’m not technically minded at all, so it took me a good while to figure out how to do it, but I’m really pleased with the result.
All in all, I’ve had a good May, in terms of my “proper job”, which is what I consider writing to be. Unfortunately, it’s the “day job” that pays the bills, which is terribly inconvenient. One day I will win the lottery and then I’ll be able to buy the house of my dreams and clear off to the countryside or coast and spend every day writing. Or faffing about on Facebook. Or blogging! Now, there’s a thought. Of course, I’d have to buy a ticket first, and since I haven’t done that since around 2002 I don’t rate my chances very highly. Ah well.
Ooh, and as a final treat to finish off the month, my Baby Oleg arrived today! We took out car insurance through a certain comparison site, and we’ve been waiting patiently while PostKat trotted halfway round the world with our little darling, but this morning there was a knock on the door and our very own PostKat, well, a rather wet and bedraggled looking postman, actually, was standing there with our newly adopted baby meerkat. Small things, and all that… Now I just need a Paddington Bear and I’ll be happy. 🙂
Have a great week xx