Tag Archive | Spotlight

(Technically) Sunday Catch Up

My clock says 0:14, therefore it’s Sunday, therefore I’m going to do ‘today’s’ write up, and ROW80 catch up now. Why not, will leave one less this for me to procrastinate with tomorrow.

Writing since my last blog on Wednesday hasn’t been good. Actually, Thursday was GREAT. I completed One Thousand Thursday AGAIN, for the third week in a row. Woop. That’s 3,000 words in 3 weeks, just on Thursdays, so if I include everything else (and the words going over the 1k. I must have done loads. I should say well done here too to Em, Lauren and A.Writer for getting their 1,000 too – or 1,000 plus for Lauren and Em who were in the final days of Camp NaNo and had a few thousand to do each – per day!

Friday I didn’t write. I had a boring day at work, where I had loads to do, but couldn’t be bothered to do any, so I messed about. I didn’t even write. Disappointing. Friday night I went to Ilana Fox’s new book launch with my ROW80 buddy, and real life friend Laura – there’s an excuse for not writing if there was ever one. I’ll write-up a blog early next week about the party – it was great fun. I now have a copy of her newest novel All That Glitters (which comes out on 13th September), which I can’t wait to read (Spotlight – her first novel – was brilliant. I hadn’t expected to like it, but I truly loved it).

Obvioulsy getting home late (and slightly drunk if I’m honest) wasn’t very condusive to writing. I say that, but I was slightly drunk on Thursday and did about 1,250 words. God, I sounds like a drunk. I’m not. I’ve just had a busy few days. Just to prove it, I’m sober now – and it’s Saturday night! No, Sunday morning! 🙂

I got home last night with the idea of cutting the last 10k words of the novel The Man of My Dreams, to try to get back on track. It may not be that much, it may not be that few. I was raring to go, but thought I should wait until today.

Today came along and I realised I can’t remember where the story was going to go before I messed it up. I can’t remember the point at which it started going wrong.

Ah, that’s a problem.

So new idea time. Before I wrote the novel I wrote the novel, I wrote scenes out on post it-notes (planning you might say!), which I then stuck on my bedroom mirror. As I wrote a scene I threw the post-it away. I think I need to go back and find out what happened. I need to rewrite those post-it note and find what happened, to help me to find what went wrong and how I can fix it. That’s the new plan.

As I’ve written this, I’ve had a revelation. I don’t think I threw them away. I think I stuck them in a notebook. Awesome. Now, if I could just find which of my 3 million note books it was.

Ok, lets move on to my goals for next week.

Currently I have 100 words a day as my goal. I’m usually writing a lot more, but telling myself I only have to write 100 motivates me. It’s my test mile. I test out 100 and if they work out, I carry on. If they don’t, it’s only 100, it won’t take long, I won’t have lost anything. My ‘test mile.’* The only exception is Thursday, where I’d like to write, no, I’m GOING to write 1,000 words. So – 1,600 by this time next week. I don’t want to look at it like that though – 100 a day. That seems better, and more doable.

I’m going to add a couple more goals too – blogging and exercise.

For exercise, I want to get back into the gym. This week I’m going to go once. It’s not a lot, but if I set myself a small goal this week then I think it will be doable, and I’ll do it. I’ll build up to going more! I also want to start walking from the tube to work, not getting th bus as I have been the last few weeks. So, I need to walk 6km this week – that’s that journey 3 days. On of the other days I’ll be going to the gym, and the fifth, the last part of the goal, I will walk home. It talks about an hour, but that’s fine. As long as the weather is ok, I really don’t mind. It’s just easier to get the tube. And quicker.

The final goal – blogging. I’m doing well with ROW80 check-ins on Wednesdays and Sundays, but I want to up my blogging. 3 times this week – including the check-ins. Oh, and I should do a book review too. I’m so behind on the for my reading challenges!

Hope everyone’s week has gone well (let me know if they have/haven’t), and good luck with your goals for next week!


*I used this strategy to get myself running today – 1st time all summer. I said I’d go out for 10 minutes, but I managed 20. Excellent!

A to Z Reading Challenge 2011

Ok, so I’m a little late doing this, sorry, but better late than never eh!

In late 2010, I heard some people talking about reading novels from A to Z. I thought, what a brilliant idea, and decided to set myself a challenge of doing exactly that in 2011. As I was writing a blog about it, it occurred to me that other people may have the same idea. I googled A to Z Challenge and found this site – A to Z Challenge I didn’t have to start one all by myself!

I started with no plan at all, except to read the A to Z (author surname) in order, and stick pretty much to just those 26 books. In 2010 I’d read about 24 books, so knew I wasn’t going to be able to read many more than the 26.

Of course as time went by and I made my way through the challenge, I found there were other books I really wanted to read that either were a letter way further down the line, or that had a letter I’d already read, or already planned what I was going to read for it. I let myself read a couple of other novels – but only if I REALLY wanted to needed to.

I did cheat a little. Kinna. I didn’t actually finish 26 novels. There were 3 letters that for different reasons I didn’t finish the novel.

Letter L was Girl with a One Track Mind by Abby Lee, I started it and was enjoying it, but it was all about sex, when this girl had it, where she had it and how much she thought about it. Nothing really wrong with that, but I do most of my reading on the tube, I felt embarrassed reading it on the tube, so picked up M, and told myself I’d read L at home. I never got round to it.

Letter O was a really good book – The Hand That First Held Mine by Maggie O’Farrell. I got it from the library (a god send, I couldn’t have afforded 26 books in 1 year on top of the ‘really want ones’), and took it to Sweden when I went. I’m not sure if it was on the flight, at the hotel, or our friends’ house, but somewhere I lost it. Typical. I ended up having to pay it in the end anyway. I’d gone on to P while I was away, and just never got the opportunity to go back to it. At some point, I would like to buy it, or borrow it and finish reading it.

Letter Z was a hard one, which I started before a few other letters. I unexpectedly finished the novel I was reading on a Sunday and didn’t have a chance to go and get the next letter. Boyfriend came to the rescue and gave me a Z – Lord of Light by Roger Zelazny. It was sci-fi which isn’t my choice, but I’d borrowed a couple off him in the years previously which I quite enjoyed. Lord of Light was not another one though. I just couldn’t get into, or really understand it. I gave it 50 or so pages, but couldn’t go on. When I gave it back to boyfriend, he said he’d had a hard job getting into it. Sigh.

So, I didn’t make 26 novels, but I started them all. In my book I finished it – yay!

Also, I didn’t review all, or add any of my review to the site, but to be honest, I didn’t find the website too easy to navigate, and lets face it, all I need is a little excuse and I won’t do something. I guess technically if I didn’t check-in, I didn’t really do it. In my mind I did though!

I’m really glad I did the challenge, I read a lot of authors that I’d never had done otherwise, and you know me, I love a challenge. But, I’d never do it again. I found it WAY too constrictive, and because I knew I couldn’t really read many other books, I felt guilty when reading one that wouldn’t go towards the challenge. There were times when I just HAD to read other books – like The Ugly Sister by Jane Fallon and Faking It by Lotte Daley – and there were many, many more times when I wanted to read another book, but just couldn’t. There were also quite a few letters where I was so torn over which novel to read. M was a good example, I had about 3 books with the letter M on my TBR shelf at home. So what did I do? I went out and bought another. Typical! It was New Moon (Twilight) by Stephanie Meyer.

I discovered some brilliant authors because of the challenge though – Jeff Abbott, Allison Brennan, Ilana Fox Rob Ryan, Nancy Taylor Rosenburg and Minette Walters. Weird – most of the new good authors write thrillers… what does that tell me? I say I prefer women’s lit (chick-lit), but it’s a close call. I did discover new chick-lit authors, but when I discovered them, I read them out of sequence and out of the challenge because I just HAD to read them there and then (Ali McNamara and Lotte Daley)

I know all the books are listed on my ‘Books’ page, but here’s a list of them – from A to Z. Just for fun, I’m putting a comment and rating out of 5 after each one – not something I usually do. The ones which I have reviewed have the links to the actual review.

A Kiss Gone Bad by Jeff Abbott – brilliant. Can’t wait to read the other ones in the series – 4.5/5

The Book of Tomorrow by Cecelia Ahern – Prefered her earlier stuff, but still pretty good – 4/5 (I couldn’t choose between the As, so read them both)

Fear the Worst by Linwood Barclay – Loved it, love his work – 5/5

Fear No Evil by Allison Brennan – So happy I discovered her. Can’t wait to read the rest of the series 4.5/5 (ditto the comment re A for B)

The Famous Writer’s School by Stephen Carter – Not what I imagined. 2.5/5

Ex-Girlfiends United by Matt Dunn – Little slow 2.5/5

Past Mortem by Ben Elton – Good, he’s done better, but still good – 4/5

Spotlight by Ilana Fox – Didn’t expect to, but loved it 4.5/5

The Love Verb by Jane Green – As usual loved it – 4.5/5

This Book Will Save Your Life by A.M. Homes – Slow 2/5

A Pale View of Hills by Kazuo Ishiguro – Couldn’t get over the cultural difference – 2/5

The Truth About Melody Browne by Lisa Jewell – Once got into it, really enjoyed – 4/5

The Ice Cream Girls by Dorothy Koomson – Loved every second – 4.5/5

Girl with a One Track Mind by Abby Lee – what I read was good. I will finish it at some point 3/5

Twilight: New Moon by Stephanie Meyer – Not as great as Twilight, but still good. 4/5

One Day by David Nicholls – Took a long time to get into it. Had me crying like a baby at the end though. 3.5/5

The Hand That First Held Mine by Maggie O’Farrell* – I need to finish this – 3/5

Still Thinking of You by Adele Parks – as always a brilliant read from Ms Parks  4.5/5

Every Last One by Anna Quindlen – took ages to get into the story – 2.5/5

Trans Am by Rob Ryan – fast paced, gripping – 4.5/5

Jessie Hearts NYC by Keris Stainton – loved. Better than her first (and, you know –New York) – 4.5/5

Mitigating Circumstances by Nancy Taylor Rosenburg – Brilliant 4.5/5

Die for You by Lisa Unger – Not what I expected in a really good way. 4/5

The Birthday Present by Barbara Vine – slow, slightly boring. 2.5/5

The Sculptress by Minette Walters – Excellent – 4.5/5

The Lost and Forgotten Languages of Shanghai by Ruiyan Xu – Really enjoyed it 4/5

Amrita by Banana Yoshimoto* – again, couldn’t get over the cultural differences 2/5

Lord of light by Roger Zelazny – just couldn’t get into it – sci-fi really isn’t my thing – 1/5

All in all, it was a good year, but I’m glad it’s over and I can read what I want to read, not what’s next on the list!

Spotlight By Ilana Fox ( @ilana )

I’m not a massive fan of ‘celebrity’ and ‘rich and famous’ novels, so wasn’t expecting to like this all that much – but I am so happy I read it – it’s brilliant. I was totally drawn in from the first page, and could not put it down after the 3rd (hence the huge black eyes, reading it was more important than sleep).
Madison (awesome name) and Jess could be you or me, or definitely your best friend, they’re so realistic… and nice. From the off I found myself routing for them and not wanting anything bad to happen to them. The ending was amazing too, I won’t give anything away, but it moved me enough to cry. A lot.
I honestly can’t recommend this novel enough.
This is the first Ilana Fox novel I’ve read – it definitely won’t be the last.

Just A Friday Blog

No Fiction Friday today. I will do it, but it will more than likely be tomorrow. I do have an excuse for not playing today – I’ve not done the ‘homework’ for it yet. Well I’ve started,  but not finished. We have to listen into others’ conversations to get 10+ line of dialogue then get them in our stories. I’m up to about 8 line of dialogue heard around the office, but need a few more. Other people have done really good jobs of their stories – check them out here.

Just to make all you non UK peeps jealous, we’ve got a nice long bank holiday weekend this weekend. No work until Tuesday. Total result! I’ve been up before 7 every morning this week – for someone that usually gets up after 8 that’s early. I’m sooooo looking forward to 3 lie-ins. Bliss.

I’ve hardly done any writing or writing course work this week. I blame it on the early starts and resulting tiredness (cause me being me hasn’t had any earlier nights – stooopid!). I’m going to try and get some done now of one or the other – I’ve 1 1/2 before I leave work and no work so should be able to. If I can pull myself away from Facebook (I was going to say and Twitter – but I’ve not got that open. WHAT? Why’ve I not got Twitter open? *goes off to open Twitter* )

I’ve just finished Poor Little Bitch Girl by Jackie Collins. Somehow, this is the first Jackie Collins book I’ve ever read. I don’t know how that’s possible! It’s really good. I finished it pretty quickly, but then I’ve been reading at work a lot (seriously I have NOTHING on for most of the week at the moment!).

I don’t know what to read next. I’ve got:

  • The Wedding Party by Sophie King (which I need to read for a book group mid Sep),
  • The Girl Who Kicked a Hornet’s Nest (really want to read this, although slightly less having watched the movie of the first one which made me realise how much pointless stuff is in the novel)
  • Spotlight by Ilana Fox (which I won in a competition and really want to read) and
  • Mini Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella.

I’m torn. I have a feeling the shopaholic might have it. I’ll read the book group one closer to the time, I’ll read at least two before I go there, and want it to be fresh in my mind when I go. I’ll prob go shopaholic now, then next the book group one. Maybe I can squeeze another in? Hmmm.

Book group then. Not said anything about this have I? When I went to the Chick Lit evening at Brixton library a couple of weeks ago, I saw this thing about a Chick Lit Book Group. Sounds like fun eh? Brixton is totally the wrong area for me to be going to book groups, but I thought why not.

I need to look for a writing group. I’ll do it next week. Yes! Next week!

Have a lovely weekend everyone 🙂