Tag Archive | You Had Me At Hello

Incredibly Busy, If Only It Was With Writing

I can’t remember the last time I wrote a blog, and I’m too ashamed to look. I know I’ve done a few book reviews in the last few weeks, but nothing really writing about me.

I’ve been busy though, so busy.

I’m in the middle of a course called NEBOSH, if you’ve not heard of it, it’s a workplace health and safety course. It’s thrilling. And long. We did a whole 9-5 week there a couple of weeks ago, then a week back in the office, and now we’re back for another week. I am shattered. Today was our last learning, tomorrow is a revision day, then next Friday we have 2, 2 hour exams. And then there’s a practical report section too.

Sigh.

If this wasn’t enough, I started working for another company last Monday. I’m still managing the same buildings, but now have a different company I’m reporting to. Not what I need in the week between NEBOSH weeks.

On top of this, I applied for a job with my old company, which I really wanted, and didn’t get it.

All in all, I’m pretty exhausted. Mentally and physically (because I’ve been to the gym tonight). I’ve got a glass of wine in front of me, and totally see myself going to bed in an hour or so (is 9.30pm too early to go to bed? I probably won’t sleep will I?).

So, because of all this, I haven’t done any writing or editing. It’s fine though, because I decided before it all started that I was going to give myself these 4 weeks off. As soon as we get to 23rd, I’m back on it. Well, probably 24th, I’m totally going to go out and celebrate it’s all over on 22nd, so probably won’t do anything on 23rd!

You know what I’ve done though? I’ve only gone and forgotten about Belinda Jones’ Sunlounger Short Story Competition. Closing date is 31st March. Eek. I need to think about that. I haven’t even got an idea yet, or characters. AGH!

Also, I found another competition I want to enter. National Express (yes, coaches) have a short story competition, with the subject travel. It closes 28th April. The winner gets their story published in Jenny Colgan’s new book The Good, The Bad and The Dumped in August. Exciting.

When I’ve posted this blog, I’m going to have a QUICK play on Twitter and Facebook, print off some stuff for tomorrow, and then think more about these stories.

I’ve got a couple of plans for April. I can’t decide which to do, or if I should do both. I’d really like to take part in the A-Z Blogging Challenge. Post a blog a day for 26 out of the 30 days in April, with each day’s blog being based on a letter of the alphabet. That would get me back into blogging for sure. So far 1058 people have signed up, I really wouldn’t be alone on this one. Also, if I do it, I’d want to add a category, but would I chose Writing or Books. Of course it would be writing, but I like the idea of writing about books too. You can’t have two categories. Damn.

My other idea is Camp NaNoWriMo. They’ve changed the rules this year, only for camp, it doesn’t have to be 50,000 words. That would suit me, because if I did it, I wouldn’t want to write 50,000 words. I wouldn’t want to write any actually. I’d want to edit. I was originally thinking of editing for 50 hours. But now the blogging challenge is a maybe, I might go for 25 hours. Or maybe 12.5 hours. Half an hour a day. 12.5 isn’t much though. I’ll have to think about it. Maybe once I’ve done the Sunlounger story!

Ooh, my second review of You Had Me At Hello by Mhairi McFarlane (first being the one I posted on this blog), is live on Novelkicks today, check it out here.

Another Week Gone – And We’re In February Kids

My end of/beginning of month blogs must be so boring, they’re so repetitive. But still, how is it February already?

January started off really well, with me reading through the first 84 pages of The Man of My Dreams in the first week, but then I failed, and did no more for the rest of the month. I have no excuses.

I’m hoping February is going to go better, and it’s starting pretty ok – I’ve just done the next 10 pages (30 minutes). It’s not a whole lot, and I got totally into it, so felt like I could have carried on going, but I want to do a blog, and I need to do some ironing, and want to watch another NCIS: Los Angeles.

One of the Sky channels is showing the first few series of it during the day. I made the mistake of series linking it, because I’d never seen or heard of it, and I love the original NCIS, so wanted to see what it’s about. What I didn’t realise was that they were showing 2 episodes a day – so the sky box got pretty full pretty quickly. And I didn’t notice.

It got to the point it was full and wouldn’t record any more. So we started watching it. And must admit got massively into it. Which is my very long way of saying this is what’s coming between me and this first read through of my novel.

Well, that and in the last week I’ve read 2 really, really good books (Deliruim by Lauren Oliver and Sister by Rosamund Lupton), and when I’m reading a good published book, it’s hard to make myself put that down and read my, rough, first draft novel. Very hard.

So, instead of picking up another novel, I’m not going to, and I’m going to crack on with reading mine. Of course it’s harder to read on the tube going to work, because it’s A4, it’s not stapled togetehr, and Im trying to make notes on it, but tough.

I had some goals for RWO80 this week, this is what they are and how I did, and why not throw in what I’m doing this week for a goal on each one too:

Edit TMOMD for 7 Hours: I’ve done half an hour today. It’s bad, but it’s better than nothing, which I’d done the last few weeks. Next week: 15 minutes editing a day. I’m reducing it to try to get me working on it. 15 minutes is so little, I could just start it and be done before I know. Hopefully though, starting 15 minutes will make me do more. It’s my test mile…

Writing course – 2 hours: None. Oops. Next week: Same, 2 hours over the whole week. Hoping one day I’ll hit this.

2 Book revies: Done. One on here – You Had Me At Hello by Mhairi McFarlene, and The Girl You Left Behind by Jojo Moyes for Novelkicks.co.uk. I’m not sure if the review of TGYLB is suitable for NK, it’s got a lot of me in it, so maybe it should be on here. I’ll let Laura decide. Next week: I’m still behind on reviews from last year, so lets say 2 again.

2 ROW80 Check-ins: Today, check, but missed Wednesday because I was out at my bookclub. Yes, I could have done it when I got in, but didn’t. I’ll try harder next week. And, Next week’s goal: 2 check ins.

Burn 1,500 calories (on top of normal walking to work etc): I haven’ t worked this out yet. It won’t be 1,500 calories though. Maybe just below 1,000? Don’t know. Next week: 1,500 calories again, including 1x visit to the gym.

3 fasting days for diet: I only managed one. Next week, just 2 days.

And one additional goal for next week:

Social Media: Visit other ROW80 blogs, and reply to my comments on here.

My ROW80 buddy Laura tried to push me to write on Friday, but I was out in the pub. This week, I’m going to get in the habit of checking in with her, someone to be responsible to each day helps me to write, or in this case, hopefully edit.

You Had Me At Hello by Mhairi McFarlane Review

What happens when the one that got away comes back? Find out in this sparkling debut from Mhairi McFarlane.

‘Think of the great duos of history. We’re just like them.’
‘You mean like Kylie and Jason? Torvill and Dean? Sonny and Cher?’
‘I think you’ve missed the point, Rachel.’

Rachel and Ben. Ben and Rachel. It was them against the world. Until it all fell apart. It’s been a decade since they last spoke, but when Rachel bumps into Ben one rainy day, the years melt away.

They’d been partners in crime and the best of friends. But life has moved on: Ben is married. Rachel is not. Yet in that split second, Rachel feels the old friendship return. And along with it, the broken heart she’s never been able to mend.

YHMAH

I love the line ‘You had me at hello,’ (I had it used on me once!!), so knew I had to read this when I heard about it. I must admit I was worried, it’s a debut novel, and I’ve read a lot of debut novels recently I’ve not really enjoyed. I know that’s just bad luck, so I gave it a go.

I am so incredibly glad I it. I loved it, absolutely loved it.

The reason I’ve not enjoyed quite a few books recently is that I’ve felt the charcters were too two-dimensional, they felt too shallow and predictable. The characters in You Had Me At Hello, weren’t, they were totally real and believable.

From the very beginning, I loved Rachel, she felt like she was my friend. The opening chapter shows her splitting up with her boyfriend, which although she knows is the right thing to do, is still really upsetting to her, her feelings were raw, and it just made her, well like I said, real. She then sees Ben, who she’s not seen since university. Slowly, their story comes out, intermingled with what’s happening in the present.

Then there’s her 3 best friends and their problems and issues too. They’re all brilliant characters too.

This was the first whole book I’ve read on my Kindle (well, kindle app on my phone). I have to admit I loved reading it on my phone, it was always with me, it was light, easy to hold etc. However, now I’ve read it, I’m gutted I didn’t have the actual book. I like keeping my favourite books, thinking maybe one day I’ll read them again, but also just having them on my shelf reminds me of how good they are and makes me happy. I don’t get to have this with You Had Me At Hello. Gutted.

My final words on this – I’ve just looked on Amazon, out of 1070 reviews, 645 were 5* (not including mine that I’ll be adding shortly), and 269 were 4*. You can’t argue with that many people!