Tag Archive | The Making of Us

#ROW80 Check-in and Win Books!

Yes, you read that right, win books. Yesterday I celebrated my 555th blog, with a competition to win 3 books – The Making of Us by Lisa Jewell, Never Look Away by Linwood Barclay and Emma Heart LA by Keris Stainton. The competition is still open if you want to win – just click here.

Now on with the bad bit, the check-in.

It’s gone all bad again. Well, this week is bad. This week is almost terrible. Until today I had only written 50% of days. Granted there’s only been 2, but it feels bad. To be honest, I’m really stressed at work, so don’t feel too bad taking some time off. However, as I always have some kind of excuse, I probably should.

My ROW buddy Laura and I decided at the weekend to kick ourselves back into action by seeing who could write the most each day. We’re checking in at 9pm each day. So far, we stand at:

  Helen  Laura
Saturday 0 707
Sunday 350+ 500+
Monday 0 375
Tuesday 296 300+

Well, we can see who this is working for, and it’s not me. It’s great having someone to kick my ass, even if it’s not working. At least it makes me think about writing, which I wouldn’t do without her. Thanks Laura. The new round starts in a couple of weeks, I think it’s going to be our round. I think we’re both going to smash it!

Nothing else is going particularly well either.
I did my Just Dance thing on the Wii on Sunday, but haven’t done any other exercise. I am back in the habit of 20 mins walk to and 20 mins walk from work, so that’s good. I just need to push it that extra and go to the gym, or running, or more Just Dance. Just remembered I got off the tube a stop early today, so had an extra 12 minutes walking, that’s good (even if the reason was delays rather than exercise!)

Not doing great blogging either. I’ve got a great excuse though. I decided last week to celebrate my 555th blog, but I’d just posted my 554th. That meant until I did my celebration 555 blog, I couldn’t do any others. And I dragged my feet arranging it. I’ll try harder.

I’m not going to bed early, I’m not doing my daily exercises, I’m not dieting very well (today might go ok, except I’ll probably drink half a bottle of wine – not so good, but needed, see above re work!).

This time last round I gave up. I’d done so badly running up to it, that I just couldn’t be bothered with the last week. Writing this, the thought went through my mind again, but this time, I’m stronger. I’ve not been doing well, but without ROW80 (and Laura), I bet I’d be doing worse. One week to go, lets see if I can make it count!

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555 Blog Competition

This is my 555th blog.
555.
I started blogging just over 3 years ago, which means, on average, 14 blogs a month (on average, sometimes there must have been more, because sometimes there’s been a whole lot less!). That’s quite a lot. Certainly worth celebrating anyway.
A few months ago, WordPress changed. When you posted a blog, it started telling you how many you’d posted. And it started giving you goals. Rubbish goals to the next 5 above where you were (500, 505, 510 etc). I hated it. How dare WordPress tell me what MY goals were? I had my own goals.
That’s when I made a decision. I was going to get myself a massive blog goal. A really good one. 555. That was going to be it, I love repetitive numbers.
And to celebrate hitting it, a competition.
One of my favourite things to do is read, which I think is something I share with lots of the readers of this blog. It’s obvious then isn’t it, what the competition is to win. BOOKS!
It was really easy to decide which books to give away as well – ones by my favourite authors. Yes, ONES, I’m giving away more than one. More than two in fact. I’m giving away three.
Two of my favourite current books are The Making of Us by Lisa Jewell and Never Look Away by Linwood Barclay. So those two. Then another of my favourite authors – Keris Stainton – has just brought out a book, Emma Heart LA. I’ve not read it, but if it’s anything like the last two, it’s going to be great. Three. Easy! Three books, one winner.


So, fancy winning 3 books? I’m not going to make it hard, just leave a ‘pick me’ comment (leaving your email address, for my eyes only), by midnight (BST – London time) on Friday 22nd June. After that, my independent adjudicator (boyfriend) will pick a name out of a hat (or more likely a bowl, or mug, or maybe, to make it special, a champagne glass). I know a lot of people are non-UK based, so the competition is open internationally. For an extra entry, tweet about the competition – remember to let me know you’ve done it though and your twitter name if it’s not the same as your name here, either on here or directly on twitter (@new2writinggirl).
Good luck everyone.

A to Z Challenge – The Struggle with ‘I’ and ‘J’

I finished A.M. Home’s This Book Will Save Your Life last night. I enjoyed it, but in the same was as American Gods (Neil Gaiman) – I have no idea why. Unlike AG, I didn’t spend the whole book wondering what the hell was going on, I spent it wondering what the point was. But, I still enjoyed it, and I got to the ‘can’t put it down’ stage. Weird.

My friend saw I was reading it and commented on it ‘Nothing happens.’ It’s kind of true, but I still enjoyed it.

So that brings me on to letter I. Let me tell you, there aren’t that many authors whose surname begins with I. In Waterstones book store I found a couple. One book slightly interested me, but not all that much. Not enough to spend just £3 on it. 

Today I went to the library. Barbican library is a pretty big one in the heart of LondonCity. In ‘Fiction,’ ‘Romance,’ ‘Sci-fi,’ ‘Fantasy,’ ‘Young Adult’ and ‘Large Print’ I found about 5 novels. None of them really leapt at me. I wondered about for over half an hour and in the end couldn’t decide between 2 – Graham Ison’s ‘Lost or Found’ and Kazuo Ishiguro’s A Pale View of Hills – so I got them both. I still can’t decide. I think I know which I’d prefer, but I’m not 100%. I almost feel like I should read the one I’m not as drawn to, just to read something totally different to normal – isn’t that the point of this challenge? Doing something different.

I don’t know. But I’ll let you know as soon as I do.

I also did something naughty. I picked up another book. It wasn’t too naughty, it was letter J – which will be my next book, but I already had a J. I also already had a J in mind to buy. Uhhh, oops. But the J I have and the J I wanted to buy are by the same author as the J I picked up today – Lisa Jewell. I’ve had After The Party for over a year, but it is a signed copy from when I met her so part of me doesn’t want to read it and mess it up (plus when I got it I was going through a break up and couldn’t handle the idea of a couple breaking up OR staying together in the book I was reading, so couldn’t read it then. Having said that, we’ve been back together 8 months, so that’s a pretty rubbish excuse!). The one I want to buy is her new one The Making of Us. When I met Lisa she was just finishing this and told us all about it, so I’ve spent a year wanting to read it. Which is why I picked up The Truth About Melody Browne today.

I figure if I decide to read After the Party, or buy the other one, I can just take this one back to the library, no worries. This is what I tell myself.

I’ve not done any writing or editing for days and days. I meant to last night, but was just too tired to get any motivation at all. I’m going out tonight, but might stay back at work for half an hour before I go to do some writing. It’s better doing that than saying I’ll do it when I get in – very doubtful.