Tag Archive | Rowan Coleman

Assignment Four – DONE!

I know, it’s hard to believe isn’t it, but it’s true. Assignment Four is ready to go. The only reason it’s not been sent is that I want it to be sent from my Hotmail account, and of course we can’t access Hotmail from work. As soon as I get home I’ll zap it off. Woop!

You know I’d so love to just post that as a blog – it’s so much better than anything else I’ll have to write – but you know me and my rambling – I’m going to carry on and on and on.

I’m half way through writing a review of Rowan Coleman’s The Happy Home for Broken Hearts. I find book reviews so hard to do. Last time I said that in a blog I said I’d start doing more to get better at them. I didn’t. In fact, I’ve not done one since April, maybe March. That’s really bad when you consider I’m taking part in a Thriller & Suspense Reading Challenge (see sidebar) where I’m supposed to review the books I read. I’ve a list of four I need to do for that 😦

Ages ago I started a list of all the books I’ve read since being an adult. I lost that when one of our work computers crashed. Last week I started writing it again. Taking my favourite chick lit authors only, I’ve got to between 38 -44 (I can’t for the life of me remember if I’ve read those 6 or not – I recognise them, but maybe from the cover only?). The list was round about 100 when I lost it, so I’ve a long way to go.

I took part in a survey to find the top 10 chick lit novels of all time last week. It was hard to pin down my favourite 5, but I managed it. They are:

  • Straight Talking by Jane Green
  • Angels by Marian Keyes
  • Can You Keep A Secret by Sophie Kinsella
  • PS I Love You by Cecilia Ahern
  • Where Rainbows End by Cecelia Ahern

Ah, reading that list back makes me want to read them all again. 🙂

My Thursday Rambling

It’s Thursday and for the second week running, I’ve started my FictionFriday piece before Friday. I don’t know what the world is coming to.

I started writing it as Kate – the MC from one of my novels, the character from my last few FictionFriday pieces. But, I had to stop writing from her POV because it sounded like it might be personal. It wasn’t, but I imagine some people reading it could have taken it to be. That’s the pain writing from a POV of a character that’s in the same situation as me. I know that’s a little cryptic, but I’m afraid it’s going to stay that way.

So, I took the same idea and swapped over to using Dan as the character. Dan’s the MMC from the novel – Kate’s best friend. However I’m a bit stuck as to who the girl he’s with should be. There’s an exact place in the novel I want this story to fit in. Although I could never use this in the book (it’s 1st person from Kate’s POV), now I’ve got this idea in my head I NEED to write it. But I don’t know if the girl should be the one that turns into his girlfriend, or just a random girl.

Oh yeah, this piece isn’t going to be a complete story, it’s going to have to be something taken out of something bigger (that probably won’t be written), so sorry in advance. Actually I might be able to make it a self-contained story.

I read about 10k of ‘Holiday’ last week. I quite like it. I want to keep writing it, but think I need to put the bits together before I start on it. That’s why I’m loving these Fiction Friday pieces, little glimpses into Kate and Dan’s lives without getting into the novel.

I entered a ‘competition’ to ‘win’ a ticket to Rowan Coleman’s book launch party for The Happy Home for Broken Hearts (which I will review soon, it’s sooooo good). You have to write a short review of your favourite book of hers, then she’ll pick the 40 (yes 40) she likes and they get to go to the party. At the moment there’s only three reviews, so I’m totally going. I may have to warn my friends they won’t see me much this month, I’ll be at loads of author events. Woop!

Before I started writing, there was so much I wanted to say, now I’m here I can’t think of another thing. As soon as I press ‘Publish’ I’ll remember at least one. How annoying.

Ok, got some things…

I started Jane Green’s Girl Friday yesterday – I’m already on p124. I did read A LOT yesterday somehow. Oh yeah, it was raining on my lunch break so I sat in the canteen and read. It’s really good, but I’m having a bit of a problem settling into it being in the present tense. This happens quite often when I read a book that’s past, then straight away swap to one that’s present. I can’t really pinpoint why, but something in my mind just doesn’t like the swap over.

Other than that, I’m loving it – as I totally expected to with a Jane Green novel. She’s definitely one of my favourite authors. Straight Talking is possibly my favourite novel of all time. Oh, after The Time Traveller’s Wife and Twlight (I’m still freaked out a vampire/teen book is in the top 2). I guess it’s possibly my favourite Chick Lit book ever.

Speaking of which, I read something on Simon & Schuster’s Facebook page recommending a survey to find the top 10 Chick Lit novels of the last decade. It’s run by Chick Lit Central on Facebook…. Actually, I’ve just looked and it’s closed. Damn, I didn’t give my opinion. To take part you had to list your top 5 chick lit novels. I couldn’t think of my top 5. I got top three – Straight Talking by Jane Green, Can You Keep a Secret by Sophie Kinsella and Angels by Marian Keyes. But 2 more? Ooh, that’s hard. So I didn’t add any, and now I’ve missed my chance  *stamps off in a mood*

A few weeks ago one of our computers at work crashed and lost everything that was on the desktops. Yes I had loads of stuff. I had thought that it was probably stuff I’ve emailed myself anyway, but I’m now not so sure.

I’m 100% sure I’ve lost my list of books I’ve read. I was compiling a list of all the books I can remember reading as an adult – just for my own amusement. I was up to 90 odd. And have lost it. I am so annoyed with myself for not saving it somewhere else too.

I think, although I’m not sure, I’ve lost a load of research I did on Italy. Damn.

This should teach me a lesson. I need to buy an external hard drive to save all my stuff on. I know you can get them online and stuff, but I just want one. However I do it, I should do it soon, every 3 days I get a reminder pop up telling me to do it. I’ll be so annoyed at myself if I lose everything and haven’t backed it up. Just another thing for the ‘To be done’ list!

July Review

So, as I made goals for July, I guess I should review them. If I have to. Which I do because there’s no point making them if I’m going to stick them in a cupboard and ignore them. So. I think I’ll tackle one at a time.

Write 250 words a day, 5 times a week. Well. I did some writing. No where near 5 days a week. I also totally forgot to keep track of when and what I wrote but I know it wasn’t that often.

5 blogs per week. I did 5 blogs a week for 2 weeks, and 4 the other 2 weeks. A pretty good effort I think.

Finish American Gods by Neil Gaiman and read two other novels. Oh I totally rocked this goal. AG finished. Four other books read. Yes FOUR! The Happy Home for Broken Hearts by Rowan Coleman, Love in the Air by James Collins, The Baby Group by Rowan Coleman and The Memory Collector by Meg Gardiner. Woop, that’s great. Maybe this month I should think more about WRITING than READING. Still, both the Rowan Coleman ones and the Meg Gardiner were BRILLIANT. In fact I stayed up way too late the last two nights to finish The Happy Home…!

Spend two hours per week on my writing course. Well, last week I probably spent more than two hours on it. But hadn’t touched it the rest of the month. Damn again.

So what have I learnt from this? I should maybe read a little less this month and write more. And definitely work more on my writing course.

I’ll set some goals for this month in the next couple of days, but it’s going to be hard when I know I’ll need to be job hunting. 250 words a day is not much though. I could do it in the morning or before bed if I can’t find time anywhere else (which I doubt I won’t be able to do!).

In other news, I had the most productive evening ever last night. After work I went to the recording of a TV show (‘Pointless’, pretty funny) so got in late. I planned to do the Bathroom, a Blog and Book (I was loving Bs). I managed to do the bathroom, post a blog, finish a book AND do some ironing. I need to take last night’s motivation for getting things done in the evening and carry it on to every other night of my life. Ooh, except tonight, I’m going out for dinner then to watch Inception. Can’t wait!

Most Exciting Blog Ever!!!

Well, I’m more excited that I’ve ever been for so many reasons. 

Firstly, yesterday I had more visitors to my blog than I’ve ever had before. 20 more to be precise! 20!!! That’s about 40 more than my daily average. Wow. I have no idea why yesterday was a popular day, but it totally made today great when I looked at that this morning. And that’s without mentioning P. o. r. n. – which someone very helpfully asked if I’d mentioned to get so many hints. Hmmm. I imagine it’s an anomaly, but if not HELLO new readers (again!) *waves* 

What else am I excited about? Well. You know that old writing course I’m always on about because I never do? Well, I only went and did some this morning. I’d already written this assignment so it just needed editing, but although I say it myself, it’s pretty good.

One of the parts was to write a descriptive piece about a maternity ward. Pretty hard when I’ve never actually been to a maternity ward but still. When I read it, I actually got goosebumps it was so cute. I think it was that and not the air conditioning in the room anyway 😉 

So, I’ll give it another read this afternoon then send it off tonight. Woop! That will be 4 assignments done. Only 16 left to go! I wish I hadn’t written that, that’s a little depressing! 

I was reading Stylist Magazine this morning (a free mag given out in London) and there’s an advert/article for a How to… night they’re running in August. It’s How To Get Yourself Published. And, Sophie Kinsella and Lisa Jewell will be there. And read from their new books. As if that wasn’t enough there’s champagne AND canapes. This all coincides with me getting paid today so I could buy a ticket. It’s like fate or something. So, I’ve got a ticket. How awesome is that.

Also last night I found out about a chick lit event (also in August) in Brixton. Lisa Jewell (again), Jenny Colgan, Jojo Moyes and more are going to be there. I think this one is free! I’d know if I booked a place – I need to do that. 

Also good, not as good, but adding to the niceness of today, is that I’ve nearly finished the book I’m reading (well 50 pages left)! Woop! The story is amazing, I just don’t care about  the characters. As the story’s been going on I started hoping that a certain something would happen. It did. It was probably pretty predictable, but I think it’s great I thought of it too. It means my ideas could be the same as a published author. Of course it could just mean that it was predictable, but I’m not going to take it that way! 

I KNOW which book I’m going to read next, but I’m pretty torn up on the decision. I know it’s the right one and I cannot wait to read it, but there’s so many I’m desperate to read NOW. They are:

  

  • The Happy Home for Broken Hearts by Rowan Coleman
  • The Girl who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest by Stieg Larsson
  • After the Party by Lisa Jewell
  • Temptation Street by Shari Low

I’m going to read the Rowan Coleman one as I got it free, to review (got to love the author’s fan page on Facebook) and I want to read it before it is released (19th August). It’s just so cool having a book that is not on sale for another few weeks.  

Actually this weekend I’m having a family relaxing weekend. My aunt and uncle live an hour outside London – and have a swimming pool in their garden! Me + Books + Pool = my happy LONG weekend. Oh yes. I reckon I’ll start THHFBH tomorrow, so read that and at least one more by Tuesday when I come back to work.

I seriously must be one of the happiest people ever today. Not even my job managed to put me in a bad mood when I found out I HAVE to work extra tomorrow (”please can you… no one else can…”) so have to cancel my plans. Grrr. But really, don’t care cause I’m really happy and excited about the next month of my life. 🙂

A New Book, a Boring Book and Writing

I’ve just had a look at my stats and seen someone today has visited my ‘About’ page today.Which reminded me I need to change it. It says I’m a ‘twenty something…’ and I’m not anymore – I’m now thirty. I’m so not ready to change it to ‘thirty something’ so it might have to stay a lie for a while. Thirty Something is just such a big jump. Besides, EVERYONE says I look younger than I am so I can get awa with it. Plus really, no one knows (except me and the two other people that know ME – and my Mum’s not read this for months).

I got a copy of Rowan Coleman’s novel The Happy Home for Broken Hearts in the post today. On her Facebook page Rowan asked for bloggers to review the book that’s out in August. I’m so incredably excited! I’m slightly bored by the book I’m reading so want to stop it and start on this one.

The problem with that is I know if I put it down, I won’t pick it back up. I’ve also worked out the problem with it: I don’t really like the MC – I don’t care enough about them. The premise of the book is great, but I just don’t empathise with the characters. I don’t know if it’s cause they’re a different class to me – they’re totally upperclass and it seems to go through everything that happens, it’s money this, posh school that, more money the other. I’ve never had issues like this with any books, so maybe I just don’t like the characters. There is one that’s ok, and and I love the story so want to keep reading. Plus there’s not many books I’ve actually given up on. I hate giving up!

I feel like I’ve done nothing today. Writing wise. While at work. It makes me think – when I lose this job (I’m going to get made redundant in about 2 months) and get a ‘real’ job, when the hell am I going to write, blog and read blogs? I mean I do that all at work. I don’t know when real people do that. I guess they do it after work, on lunch breaks etc. And I guess if I didn’t come home and watch TV I could do it then. But when my housemate’s sat there it’s so easy. Plus the internet doesn’t work in my room. I need to see if I can get some kind of router or something to make it work. I don’t even know if anything like that exists.

Ok. I’m going to do some writing. After I check Twitter. And read a few blogs (just mananged to get my unread blog count on Google Reader by adding a few more people – and that’s not everyone I want to add!).

A Few Thoughts

This is probably going to be a quite short, and maybe pointless blog, but I have this goal to blog three times a week, so need to do it. Plus, I’m really hungover and forcing myself to do this today will hopefully help me do it more often when I’m in this state.

Shockingly for me, I’ve also done quite a lot of reading today – usually it’s way too much effort, but I  had to know what happened. I was reading The Baby Club by Rowan Coleman. Loved it. I did like that although it was predictable (it’s chick lit – fo course we know what’s going to happen) there were a couple of curve balls in it too to keep you guessing. I also liked that the MC’s other half wasn’t everything you dream of – he had flaws.

I was given The Girl Who Played with a Hornet’s Nest for my birthday this weekend (bit of a late present as I’d not really seen my friend since my birthday). So excited to read it, BUT I feel like I need more romance in my life at the moment (probably the hangover blues but still) so I’ve started another book instead. It was a really hard decision – I went to the library the other day and got a couple of books out, then also my housemate came home with a book I’ve been dying to read last week. Plus you know, I’ve got that 80 odd TBR book pile in my room.

But, this book’s been shouting and screaming at me to read it since I picked it up at the library, so what could I do? It’s called Love in the Air by James Collins. I’ll let you all know how it goes – have a feeling it’s gonna be a good one!

Thursday’s Thoughts

I don’t think this whole 30 thing is working for me – or it’s working too much! Every day since my birthday last week I’ve been either going out, really tired or hungover. It’s zapping my productivity. Today for instance, should be putting the finishing touches to my story for Rowan Coleman’s Short Story Competition, but instead am very tired and a little hungover. Why do I do it?

I’ve done edit number one on it. The ending always makes me smile – I love the idea of it, I just hope the twist isn’t too subtle, I’m slightly worried it is. Probably just me being paranoid!

Oh no. I just finished this blog, and internet explorer died. Along with the rest of my blog 😦 I may cry! Actually I’ll go have lunch and come back and carry on. So upset!

Right, so where was I?

Rowan Coleman’s been running weekly mini story competitions via Facebook. Back in May I was a runner-up to one of the weekly competitions. Rowan said because my story made her laugh. Hopefully my story for this main competition will also make her laugh.

Having had this runner’s up position makes me a tiny bit confident about entering the comp. Hearing 33 people entered yesterday ALONE makes me anything BUT confident. Especially as I’m really struggling with a few sentences. I just can’t get them right. Other than that I’m pretty happy about it.

I think of the best things about entering this competition is it will hopefully give me confidence to enter more competitions, and maybe even submit a story to a magazine.

(I’ve just realised – I lost my blog. That’s great. On Sunday I lost my phone – then found it – last night I got home without my keys – but found them this morning. As things happen in 3s I’ve been a little worried about what I’d lose next. Very relieved it’s just a blog – I was having visions of it being my purse).

I went to the library the other day. I’d told myself I was allowed to get out two books. I got three, which to be honest was pretty good for me. I can’t remember what two of them are (yeah, they made that much of an impression!). The third (or first, whichever way you look at it) is The Baby Group by Rowan Coleman (see a pattern to this text?!) I’m maybe 1/5 of the way through it.

Reading it though has made me wonder about the characters in my writing. In this novel there are five women in the baby group – each one is totally different with different personalities, with different things motivating them. I’m worried my characters are all the same. I’m going to have to work on this – maybe for Fiction Friday tomorrow. If I get this Rowan Coleman story done in time.

Right off to start on draft 3 of this short story!