Tag Archive | book reviews

2014 – Here’s Beginning A Good Year

Happy New Year everyone!

It’s a new year! I don’t want to begin it with all that, ‘New year means new me’ rubbish, because if I do, anything I say will go down the drain in a week or two, a month at most. So I’m not. 

But, I’m going to take this opportunity to make some changes, just little ones, so small, they won’t impact my life, and I won’t even realise I’m doing them. Then, when they become habit, I’ll increase them, then they will become habit, and before you know it, I’ll be writing or editing every day. But forget the big stuff, I’m starting with baby steps.

My plan is still my novel, The Man of My Dreams. I still think it’s got legs. If, 2 years after I started it, I still believe in it, there must be something there, right? I hope so. It’s almost all written, I’ve got a few holes in it that need filling, then it needs to be edited. And edited. And edited. Probably edited, then edited, and maybe again, edited. 

Editing is my nemesis. Well I think it is. I don’t want to have to do it. I’m scared of doing it. Scared on two fronts. 

One – this is my novel, my baby. I don’t want to have to chop stuff out. Not if it’s good. To be honest, probably not if it’s bad. What if I make a mistake and take out the wrong thing? No one will know but me, but I’ll know. How will I know what to take out? How will I decide if I have two contradicting ideas? How…? What if…? Where…? Agh! 

Two – once I edit it, and it’s done, I have to do the next step. Submit it. Try to find an agent. AGH! That terrifies me. I think I can write, but what if I can’t? What if it’s just an illusion I’ve given myself. What if I get rejected again and again – I know I will a certain number of times, but what if the YES never comes? I don’t know if I’ve got hard enough skin, and I can take that rejection. 

Two I have to just get over. If I want this, I need to get thick skin. Each rejection will take me closer to a YES. (Hopefully!). Two, I get over.

One – that’s a bit harder. Well, it’s not. I just have to do that too! I’ve been told by several successful, printed, bestselling authors that they love editing, and I should just do it (two of my favorite authors – Lisa Jewell and Jojo Moyes). I’ve edited short stories, which are so different to a novel, how do I know I won’t love it myself? I don’t! Exactly. 

2014 is going to be the year I edit this novel. I can’t wait. 

My plan initially is to do a bit of editing once a week. No set amount of time, just some editing on either one evening after work, or one weekend day. This week, it’s going to be Saturday. I haven’t worked out yet what my plan is, I’ll work it out either tonight, tomorrow, or on Saturday. I’m doing it. 

In addition to the editing, I’m going to get back into blogging and book reviewing (reviews both on here and Novelkicks ). I love doing both so much, I know once I get into them, it won’t be a chore, but a pleasure. It’s getting back into it though. Baby steps will get me there though. I’ll do one blog a week, and one review a week – alternating the reviews on here and NK weekly. It’s going to be fun, and 2 blogs a week is nothing. 

The other morning, I woke up having had a dream I’d got an agent and a publishing deal – it was fantastic. The only way to make that happen in real life is for ME to take the steps to make it happen. It may not happen if I try, but it DEFINITELY won’t happen if I don’t! 

So, here’s to a good year. 2014 – I’m coming for you! 

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Wednesday’s Words

I can’t believe it’s Wednesday night already. How did that happen? Being busy at work really makes the week fly! 

I’ve done no editing yet this week. I’m quite disappointed with this. Steve (the boy) was away on Monday, getting back late Tuesday. On Monday I accidentally (!!) turned the TV on and watched some soaps, then some CSI, then some more, then some Law and Order. Then I realised it was midnight, bedtime. I had my laptop on my lap the whole time. Really disappointed with myself.

Yesterday I planned to go to the gym after work, but had an accidental (see a theme here?) glass of wine during a catch up with an old colleague in the afternoon. After months of not going, I didn’t think being a little tipsy (it was a large glass, on an empty stomach!!) was a good plan, I’ve never fallen off a running machine, but didn’t want a first time.

Tonight I’ve been really tired, so done nothing.

Somethings are going well though this week. These are my goals, and how they’re coming on:

7 hours editing – 0 so far. But it is only Wednesday.

2 hours on my writing course – 0 again. Ditto above.

2 book reviews (one for here, and the completed one for Novel Kicks) – 1 done and sent to Laura at NK, 1 started. Not bad.

Burn 1,500 Kcal in addition to normal daily walking to work etc – 150Kcal so far. Well, it’s 1/10. Least it’s something. Hmmmm. Gym tomorrow.

3 fasting days: 2 done so far – Monday and today. Result.

I’ve done some things, so it’s not that bad. And, I still have 4 days left. Not sure the exercise one can happen now, but I’ll give it a go.

Exciting news of the day – Laura from Novel Kicks liked my book review, so in the near future I’ll have my first review on the site. Woo. So excited about that. I’ve been posting book reviews on here for years, but it’s such a big thing to be asked by someone else to write on their site. Makes me want to write another one right now…

Instead, I’m going to have an early night in the hope I sleep well, get up on time tomorrow (which I haven’t done this year) and become productive tomorrow night.

Here’s to the rest of the week!

My First ROW80 Check In of 2013

This first check in feels way too early. Usually the weekly gap is Sunday to Wednesday, but goals were written on Monday, so it’s been a day less. I wrote my goals Monday night, so only 48 hours. I haven’t done anything tonight either, so really only 1 day. He he.

Here are my goals and how I’m doing with them:

7 hours working on TMOMD: I worked on it last night, for maybe an hour. It’s not a lot, but it’s probably the most important – the first one. I’ve started on it. WOO HOO. OK, so I’m only reading and making notes, but it’s a start. A START!

7 hours working on my writing course: Nothing, yet.

1 book review on here, and one for Novel Kicks: Neither, yet.

2 Check in blogs: This is one, second will be Sunday.

Decide on reading challenges for the year and blog about them: Complete. I’ve decided to do The Crafty Book Nerd’s Mystery/Crime Reading Challenge and Roof Beam Reader’s TBR Pile Challenge. I’m really excited about them.

Burn 1500 Kcals through exercise (above normal walking to/from work): So far I’ve burnt about 400, walking between my office buildings. I was planning on being much higher by today, but I had a migraine on Monday, which stopped me going to the gym, then I still wasn’t feeling great yesterday. Tomorrow I hope will be the day, maybe Friday because  it will be quieter.

2 fasting days: Today is the first. I’ve just craved in and had a chocolate bar, which means iI’ve had 600 cals today. I’m a little annoyed with myself, I really was trying for 500, but I’m still proud of myself.

It’s not all good, but it’s certainly not all bad, so I’m happy. Here’s to the rest of the week.

ROW80 Begins Again – 2013 Round One

Howdie fellow ROW80ers, and everyone else *waves*

I made some goals at the beginning of the year, and although I haven’t started them yet, it is only the 7th. And when I say I haven’t started them, what I really mean is I haven’t done much. Because yesterday, I took a really big step, and PRINTED The Man of My Dreams. All 160 pages of it (in addition to the 10 I already had printed.). Woop. My plan now is to read through it (12 pages done yesterday) and make notes of what happens as it goes along. Then when I’ve done that I should (I hope) be able to see which path makes the most sense – the way I took it originally, or the way I veered off to.

I’ve got a push to do it and edit it this year, the biggest push I’ve had so far. I got into the Romantic Novelists’ Association, New Writer’s Scheme. Double, (no triple, cause it’s that exciting) woop. I’ve been trying for 2 years before this, and always applied too late to get a place, so I’m so so happy I’ve got in. As well as going to their events (with speakers, novelists, publishers, agents, and new writers like me), I get to send them a manuscript where a published author will comment on it. Eek!

So I have to finish, and edit, and get The Man of My Dreams as good as I can by August.

Eek!

Keris Stainton (author or the *heart* series [Jessie *heart* NYC, Emma *heart* LA]) sent me a link to a page on Holly Lisle’s site – One-Pass Manuscript Revision: From First Draft to Last in One Cycle’. I’ve read about half of it, and it gives some good advice. I need to read further as I go along the process, but I think it’s going to be really helpful once I get there. Once I’ve read it, and decided which way to take it.

This round, I’ve decided to make weekly goals like I did in a previous round, because they seemed to work really well for me. Here we go then, for this week, Monday 7th – Sunday 13th January

– 7 hours working on The Man of My Dreams. I know this week it will mostly be reading, with some note taking, and I’m fine with that. I’m sure I’m not going to make an hour every single day, but if I can do the equivalent of an hour a day I’ll be really happy.

– 7 hours on my writing course. Writing course. Wow, remember that? I hardly do. I’ve not done it for so long, I need to call them and find out if I’m still ok to carry on, or if I need to re pay for it. I signed up about 4 years ago, so I think I’ll be fine. I’m sure I signed up before they put a time limit on it. Fingers crossed. I figure with the revision of the novel it will be good to work on this in conjunction. It will remind me of what I need in it, but also, the next assignment is to plot a novel, I think plotting TMOMD would be a good idea. OK, so the novel is mostly written, but it can’t help to get comments, and advice on it can it?

– Write 1 book review for here and one (my first) for my friend Laura’s website Novel Kicks. I’ve already read one book this year, and have 20 still to write-up from last year for my reading challenges last year. I’m late, but better late than never (some of them are likely to be never, but some of them I should, and want to review).

– 2x check in blogs (in addtion to this). As it says on the tin.

– Decide on reading challenges for the year, and write a blog about them. I’d like to do Room Beam Reader’s TBR Pile Challenge again – I failed it last year, so feel I need to redeam myself this year. Last year I took books of my shelf, this year I think I’ll take other books that I’ve been meaning to read for a while, but which aren’t necessarily on my actual physical shelf.

– Burn 1500 kcal through exercise on top of normal walking to work etc. I’ve joined the gym again this year, and am determined to use it more than last year. Plus I’m going to sign up to a 10k run in May/June so need to get back into training. On top of this, I now work between two buildings which are about 15 minutes walk (100 cals) between each other. If the last week is anything to go by, I’ll be burning about 600 just walking between them.

– 2x fasting days. I’ve started the 5:2 diet, where you ‘fast’ (eat 500 calories) 2 days of the week. So far it’s going well. Week one went well anyway. I’m slightly worried that some people said it can cause headaches, and I got a migraine earlier, but I’m sure headaches and migraines are actually caused by and totally different things, so probably not related. I’m going to keep an eye on it though.

That’s it then. It’s quite a lot, but it’s doable, I know I can. As long as I work a little each day, and take each day as it comes, I should be fine.

Laura has agreed to be my buddy again this round. We have a brilliant way of pushing each other, through Twitter, texts, Facebook and emails. Whatever it takes. It’s really good to have someone I know is going to push me, and it’s a good feeling knowing I’m making a difference by pushing her too.

I hope everyone has a good week.