Tag Archive | The Ugly Sister

Weekend Update on Reading, Writing and Life

I have this strong urge to do a blog today and post it today. Without the internet (which is coming soon I’m promised) I’m not entirely sure how I’m going to pull it off, but we’ll give it a shot! *I didn’t so I’m posting on Monday – all still stands though*

Writing:

Well I’m trying to get through ‘Holiday,’ and the deadline I’ve given myself to finish it is 31st October. This is to coincide with the beginning of NaNo, so I don’t leave it on 1st November and take another six months to get back into it – as has been the case for the last two years.

I’d really like to see it finished because I think it’s the one that has more legs than any other (definitely The Dating Project that was my NaNo novel in 2010, and a little more so than Italian Infatuation, which is the only novel I’ve finished, but as it was done in NaNo 2009, it needs SO much work that quite frankly, it scares me).

When I was at the Jane Fallon event on Monday, a few people asked me if I’ve sent the first few chapters off to an agent. Of course I haven’t because the first few chapters of ‘Holiday’ aren’t finished (chapter one is acutlaly just notes, damn), and because when I submit Italian Infatuation I’ll do it directly to Mills & Boon, not through an agent.

But it kind of got me thinking. If I could finish and the first few chapters of ‘Holiday’ (and think of a better title) I could do that. It would be scary as hell, but I’ve got to do it at some point, so why not early next year (with finishing the first draft of it, NaNo, hopefully NYC and Christmas there is no way I could get it done this year)?

I have made a little realisation though. I don’t think I’m going to get it finished by the end of October. Reason being that most of it is stored on my laptop. Because I’ve been writing it a little at a time, different scenes at a time (not consecutively) there’s about 14 documents that make it up at the moment. Some are finished, some aren’t. Unfortunately I don’t remember which ones on my laptop have been finished, and which haven’t.

And my laptop is still dead (ish). We were going to go to the boyfriend’s dad’s in a few weeks – he’s a computer expert so could  have seen what was up, boyfriend thinks it’s the cable, but not sure – but now we can’t afford to. As we can’t afford to go there, we definitely can’t afford to get my laptop fixed this month. November, definitely, but not October. Which means, unless I can find every document somewhere else (which I think is kind of possible – Ubernote, different email addresses?) I can’t do it this month.

Part of me is annoyed by that, but another part of me is a little relieved. It means I don’t have to hurry with this goal of finishing hanging over me! Yay! Only, I do want to finish it. I really really do. Or have it as done as I possibly can. So I am going to try. ROW80 Round Four (A Round of Words in 80 Days) starts again tomorrow. I’m in again. I thought I had goals for it, but I think I might be re thinking them. I’ll update tomorrow, but for today I’ll leave the writing section of this post saying I’m going to do my best to do as much of ‘Holiday’ as I possibly can by the end of October. I promise you and I promise myself.

Reading:

Last weekend I had to read The Ugly Sister by Jane Fallon before I went to the party on Monday. It was great, I loved it, and I will get a review up as soon as possible (it’s half written, so I just need to finish it). Since then I’ve been out so much that I’ve not really had a chance to read much more.

The book I’m on is The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin. It’s a non-fiction story of how Rubin took a year to get happy. My cousin went to US this summer and came back raving about it, and said I HAD to read it. Fine I said.

Then I read the intro and it was all about how to make yourself happy. Acutally no, it is all about how she did it, it’s not a ‘You should do this… You should do that…; it’s more ‘this is what I did and it worked for me because…’ I read that and was like ‘Nah, this isn’t for me, I’m happy.’ But then I thought I’d give it a go.

I’m only of February, but already I’m very glad I’m reading it. January was about Boosting Energy and February is about Remembering Love. It is very American in the way we think very differently about some things to the way they do, but I don’t think that’s always a bad thing. I think this book is brilliant because it’s making me think a lot about what I’m doing, and made me realise that I can be happier than I am (away from this, I’ve actually realised I’m not that happy, I just think I am. But more of that later). 61 pages in and I’ll definitely be recommending it. Already I know a few people who I think will benefit from reading it.

The A to Z Challenge

I’ve not written much about this recently, but it’s going pretty well. The next book I read will be T. Although I’m only half way through O and about quarter of the way into L, but I’ll probably ignore those, at least I’ve started them. It means I’ve only got 7 books to read until the end of the year. Which is ok. Only, I’m not really gong to be reading in November (I need to focus on NaNo not reading) and I’m currently reading another book. So that gives me Oct and Dec to read 8 books. It’s not a totally unobtainable goal, but it’s going to be hard.

I have enjoyed this challenge, it’s introduced me to some authors I never would have found otherwise (some good, some not so good), and it’s made me read some of the books on my TBR pile that I probably wouldn’t have got to otherwise. So I’m glad I’m doing it. But, I totally hate it too. As it’s 26 books in a year, I know it doesn’t give me much scope to be able to read much else. SO there’s loads of books I’ve got that I’m desperate to read, but know I can’t because of this silly challenge. And you know now I’ve started and got this far, I HAVE to finish. I’m really looking forward to January when I can read what I want when I want. Also, I’ll be able to buy more books – I haven’t been allowing myself to unless it’s a book I really really want, or it’s one of the next letters.

I am however, making a list of the books I want to buy in 2012. Yay!

Life

Quick little bit about life cause I’ve just realised how long this blog is.

I’m currently the heaviest I’ve ever been, but can’t seem to stop eating, and after weeks of thinking about it I’ve realised it’s because I’m not really that happy. My relationship is brilliant, so brilliant that I’ve been on such a high from that, that I haven’t really noticed how unhappy I am in other aspects of my life.

Job – I hate it , with a passion. I hate getting up and going to work, and I’ve never had that before. Money – for the last few months, and the next few weeks, we’ve been totally broke. Which obviously has been getting me down. Weight – I’m too fat, which you know, has been making me eat more. Exercise – I’m not getting enough.

Now that I’ve identified these, I’m making a plan to get them back to a good place. For instance I talked to my boss last week about moving up, and he agrees I’m ready, so we need to find a position that’s available and talk my way into it. I’m making plans for the other areas too.

What I’m hoping is that when I’m happier myself, it will lead to me writing more because I won’t want just come home and slump in front of the TV all night. And there was you thinking this way nothing to do with writing weren’t you!

Have a great week everyone. Those of you starting ROW80 tomorrow – good luck. Or, and there’s a Twitter party on 5th October for ROW80 – all day (ET time, Eastern Time is that? US timezone anyway) under the hashtag #ROW80. Go have a look, join the party. Yay!

Advertisements

A Blogger’s Night with Jane Fallon

I said to someone this morning ‘I love my secret blogging life.’ It’s so true.

Last night I had the utter privilege to get on the invite list for Jane Fallon’s new novel (The Ugly Sister – brilliant – review to follow) blogger’s party.

It was basically a chance for book bloggers to get together, meet each other face to face (which we never do, we consider ourselves friends without even knowing what the others look and sound like!), chat and to meet Jane Fallon. It was so much fun. Oh, and did I mention it was at The Ivy?? Yeah… I know!

A few years ago I ‘met’  a girl called Laura who hosts an awesome site Novel Kicks I can’t remember how, maybe Twitter, maybe her blog, maybe mine? Last year we nearly met in the flesh at a Lisa Jewell event. I say nearly because although we sat next to each other, we had no idea who the other was, until the next day when we were both tweeting about it! Doh!

Laura emailed me last week and asked if I’d be interested in a Jane Fallon party (Jane Fallon as in the author of Getting Rid of Matthew, Got You Back and one of my all-time favourite books Foursome) because she’s releasing a new novel The Ugly Sister later in the week. Uh, wow, YEAH! She spoke to someone at Penguin who decided I was worthy of getting on the invite list. To THE IVY!

So I met up with Laura, who is just as wicked in real life as she is through Twitter and on her site. We had a quick drink (and dry off – it poured with rain just as I left work), then headed over to The Ivy. Luckily we managed to avoid getting drenched by passing taxi’s al la Bridget Jones and got there.

The people from Penguin were so friendly and welcoming, as were the canapes and champagne! After a while of chatting to Laura, Elle from Trashionista, and other fun people, I got introduced to Jane, and you know what? She’s lovely. Really nice, genuine, down to earth lady, who has read my blog (Hi Jane if you’re reading again *waves*).

Because it was more of a party than a book launch, there was no speech by Jane, no Q&A session and no reading from The Ugly Sister. I was a little disappointed when I found that out, but in actual fact it was better, because it gave everyone a chance to talk to Jane in person, rather than firing questions out of the audience and maybe having a three minute chat while she signed our books.

Jane was so encouraging and genuinely interested in my novel (novels actually) and what I write, and she said exactly the same as Lisa Jewell had, that she loves editing. There must be something in it if everyone keeps saying this. I need to get off my backside and edit Italian Infatuation. After I’ve finished ‘Holiday’ and done NaNo that is. Hmmm.

I can’t remember all the things we talked about, but I spent a lot of the night just chatting to her. The thing that I always take from events like this, is that authors are just like you and me, they just finished their novels and got them published. Once upon a time Jane was just a woman with an idea – just like me now.

Another great, really inspiring thing is that according to her bio, Jane is 20 years older than me (you wouldn’t think it to look at her), but her first novel wasn’t published until 2007. It’s quite a nice reminder that you don’t have to be in your early 20s to get your book published.

As I thought would happen, I’m now desperate to write my novel. Obviously a lot of chat last night was with non-published authors about writing etc, and it’s just made me want to write. Someone asked me when I find the time to write with a full-time job, and it made me realise that I never make time for writing. I just do it when I can (when I remember more like!). I think this is something I can improve on to become more productive. Maybe set aside 2 lunchtimes at work a week, and 2 hours 2 evenings a week. Maybe even a couple of hours each weekend. It’s not much is it? Not if it helps me achieve my dream!

All in all, I had a brilliant night. Thank you Laura for getting me on the invite, thanks everyone at penguin for hosting – it was great to meet you all, and all the other bloggers. And of course Jane – keep up the good work with the novels – I’m looking forward to the next party 🙂

The Ugly Sister is (brilliant) out 29th September. I’ll review very soon.