Tuesday, 27 August 2013

What value do you place on your time?

We each have twenty four hours a day. That is an undeniable fact. How we use those hours is up to us - sleep, work, play - and equally how much worth we place on those allotted hours is our choice too.

I recently resigned from an unpaid role managing a Facebook page for a writing group. I've been in the role for a year and I felt that the time had come to move on and use that time and effort more effectively for my writing career. That was the main reason.

The second reason was that during the past year, the 'founder' of the group has expected more and more of me and has been unpleasant, to say the least, when I have tried to discuss the page with her. My resignation was met with an outpouring of poison from this person.

One of the unfortunate factors of offering our time for free is that certain individuals will have no respect for our effort. If they are not paying us for time spent managing a Facebook page or in writing an unpaid article for their site, those individuals will treat us as if we are offering them a sub-standard product.

Do not accept such treatment. You know the true value of your time, effort and writing. Do not let such individuals disrespect you in this way.

There are plenty of individuals out there who will appreciate your free time and free articles and give you the credit you deserve. Work with these people. They are truly worth your time.

Tuesday Choice Words

It was a very early morning for me today as we're having a new fridge/freezer delivered around 7.00 am (strangely, they're not here yet and it's almost 8). Still, it has meant that I've started the day with a couple of hours of peace before the sound of baby elephants on the stairs (my children - I don't run a zoo).

Do you know what there is to lose and gain in your story? Chuck Wendig's 25 Things To Know About Your Story's Stakes discusses just this topic.

Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Tuesday Choice Words

Another Tuesday, another choice of wonderful writing advice.

I had never heard of the concept of 'two hearts' before reading Roz Morris' article Your Story Needs Two Hearts on Nail Your Novel. Interesting and well worth a read.


Yesterday I did no writing. I didn't even think about my writing. I got up at 4.30 am, got my family ready and together we drove to a local hospital. We spent the morning talking to nurses and each other. In the early afternoon, I accompanied my son to a separate room and watched him fall asleep in readiness for his operation.

I'm not asking for sympathy here. I'm not telling a sad tale. The operation appears to have been a success. My son is home and recovering. My family is complete once more.

As writers, our lives can centre around our literary darlings, our plots, our publishing plans and every other factor of our trade. I applaud all of that enthusiasm and commitment but on occasion, life will stop us. It will say 'hush your imaginings' and require something else of us.

Never feel guilty about those times. They deserve as much commitment from us as the hours we spend weaving our imagined worlds. Books tells tales of life, which is why we read them. Writers must therefore live to have the material to write about. Living is good. It is the ultimate 'show' because living a life does not 'tell' us how it should be experienced, it shoves us in there for good or bad.

My son is fine. I'm writing again. Life is good.

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Tuesday Choice Words

I've been incredibly lucky to have had a life filled with 'characters' - colourful, and thought provoking - which has provided me with a ready pool of cast members for my plays and stories. I still do so I'm always drawn to writing advice on creating characters such as this article from This Craft Called Writing - Everything You Want To Know About Creating Interesting Characters.

Helping out a talented friend: Cover Reveal

Today, I'm assisting in the cover reveal of a book written by a friend of mine, Suzanna Williams. The cover reveal has been organised by The Finishing Fairies. Ninety-Five Percent Human will be released at the end of this month.

Welcome to the latest cover reveal with Young-Adult Author Suzanna Williams. Released today is her latest book, the first in the series, Ninety-Five Percent Human.

Suzanna is known for her first release, Shockwaves which is free today in honour of this cover release.

At the end of the month, the book will be on Tour. Check in with The Finishing Fairies for the full tour schedule coming soon.

Ninety-Five Percent Human  

Teenager, Joe Kendrick, thinks he’s got problems. The farm he’s looked after since his father’s suicide is failing and his brother wants to sell it. His girlfriend has dumped him and his normally down-to-earth Nan starts muttering about seeing UFO’s. All Joe wants is a ‘normal’ life. Then he saves suicidal stranger, Sarah, from drowning. What Joe doesn’t know is that Sarah is a human/alien hybrid, sent to test the viability of life on Earth and as she’s survived, hostile aliens are already planning their attack. Ninety-five percent Human is the first in a two-book sci-fi adventure.

IMG_2219-001Suzanna Williams is a perpetually eighteen year old YA author who lives in the wild, wet, Welsh borderlands surrounded by ruined medieval castles and Celtic mythology where she looks for UFOs amongst the stars and imagines that all the people she meets have dark secrets.
When she is not inventing radical problems for her unsuspecting heroes and plotting their escape, Suzanna is a serial collector of random badly paying jobs and has never found a use for her BSc in Psychology whatsoever.
As a child, Suzanna filled notebook after notebook with stories and her first taste of writing success was a poem published in the local newspaper aged just nine years old. She has written and directed several plays and pantomimes before publishing her debut novel, ShockWaves in 2012.
suzanna-on-hillSuzanna loves sci-fi action adventures, playing the piano, believes Romeo and Juliet should have talked more and considers sarcasm to be the highest form of wit.
She has a daughter who is a drummer, another daughter who is a driving instructor, a son who is a dancer and a 'nearly' grandson she's dying to meet.

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Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Guesting on Work From Home Wisdom

You can find my guest post about 'mobile' working at home on the Work from Home Wisdom site today.

Originally titled, 'Working from home doesn't mean sitting still', you can find it here.

Tuesday, 6 August 2013

Tuesday Choice Words

This is a late night post. The day ran away with me (also my children - it's summer holidays, you know) so I haven't had the chance to sit down at my keyboard until now. Apologies for my tardiness.

How To Write a Page-Turner in One Easy Lesson is an informative read from This Craft Called Writing which discusses the creation of suspense and danger.

Sunday, 4 August 2013

August Photo Inspiration

This month's photograph was snapped on a walk home. I didn't see it at first. It was simply something out of the corner of my eye that left me with a feeling of not quite right. I retraced my steps and found this playing card lying under a hedgerow.

Was it dropped or left there on purpose? Was it an oversight or a message? The four of clubs signifies the laying of foundations for future progress, a stable business environment and using good business sense.

Did somebody miss this card when they next played black jack? Are there other cards left in out of the way places in the village where I live? Who does it belong to?

What does this image inspire you to write?