Friday, 31 January 2014

An interruption to my blog to talk about my blog…

Hi everyone, I am after a favour from you all and offering a favour in return. I set my blog up in the early months of 2012 and I’m in the process of cleaning it up a bit, sorting out the links, etc. and I thought I would ask for a bit of help.

I find it really interesting visiting so many different sites so I always try and add them to my blog roll. I may not have the time to go into all of them in-depth or visit them regularly but it’s great to see what people are up to, or to go to specialist company sites to learn and develop my skills. I have a focus on art and literature of course, with a particular interest in indie sites but it’s easy to lose track of so many different strands of information, so that’s why I have always kept the links, some naturally stop being updated, especially review sites and individual’s blogs, which is why I am trying to clean my links up more often. However, this weekend I am spending some time on it so…

For You

1. Do you have a website or blog that you would like added? I’m happy to add anything that is connected to the following sections:

Art & Literature
(General links to interesting sites)

Writing & Social Media Tools
(Sites that can help both professionals and independents to develop)

Writer Websites
(Specific websites run for/by an author, professional or indie)

Indie Websites
(Specific websites on the subject of indie writing/publishing)

Writing Blogs
(Blogs that aren’t for an actual author, rather a genre or news site, etc.)

Review Sites
(Websites and blogs that are book review sites, any genre, professional and indie)

Free eBooks
(Specific websites that showcase free ebooks listings)

2. I am happy to have guest posts on my blog as long as they are literature related, authors, editors, technical, marketing, social media, etc.

For Me

1. I think it is about time to have a personlised/tailored background image rather than one of the templates that Blogger provides. I have a few ideas but it would be great to hear from anyone who has any suggestions; perhaps you have seen some really great ones on your blog-travels and could recommend something?

2. Just general feedback on the look and feel of both the site and the posts, except the background image of course ;) because I am sticking with Blogger, I’m not going to switch to Wordpress, etc. but it would be nice to have any feedback you feel like giving. I’m all ears J

For any of those points leave a comment on this blog or email me directly at

I have much more free time this year and I am focusing (most of) my efforts on writing so hope to be blogging more regularly and with more attached media, so any advice would be hugely appreciated.

Thanks everyone, have a great weekend!


P.S: Please join me on all my social media pages:
And Author Profile Pages to keep informed of the latest releases:

Thursday, 30 January 2014

Sweet revenge! …or… How I will write you into my stories one day heh heh heh

Dear all,

You know those little memes and GIFs that you see a hundred times a day on Facebook or Google+, the ones that show three seconds of a film with a written caption across the bottom. Usually along the lines of quitting your job and telling your boss where to go, or being dumped and wailing about how your life is over, and similar emotional moments…well I saw one a long time ago, I think on Pinterest, maybe Facebook, and for what I will explain is an obvious reason it has recently popped back into my mind. I have quickly surfed the web to find a similar image:

This is quite painful for me to say but the reason this popped back into my mind must be because I am still quite bitter about my previous employment. I worked at the organization for nearly nine years and I can honestly say that they gave me some of the best days and memories of my life; I really did love the place and was absolutely dedicated to it. However, it turned sour and that’s that. I am very happy with my new direction and focus, and I am embracing the challenge, and pleasure, of developing my writing this year and the past is the past…but, oh, oh, oh, it’s not that easy to forget is it! As someone who is interested in writing you always have half your brain switched on to using experiences for your work, you don’t know how, when or why, but you just know things may come in handy someday.
Well, in this particular case, the time must have been right for the nastier side of my personality to come out! Now that I have completed working through all of my notes (blog coming soon about that…) I guess my brain is developing ideas in my subconscious and playing them out, testing, and there have been several moments over recent days where the above text has come to mind. So this is what I think about revenge…

Me at Halloween some years back…this may become my evil writing outfit
I am looking forward to it! I don’t know why I am so excited about being vindictive but I am. It is the first time I have had specific people in mind when developing characters, rather than starting from an idea and allowing the character to develop from it, I have actually found myself using individuals to work around. Now I have to be careful, there is nothing worse than sledgehammering something in just because you want to make a point, rather than it being useful, therefore I don’t think I will be using these feelings any time soon, I have a gut instinct that I need to be a much more proficient and experienced writer before I can do justice to this so it could well be decades from now, however, I feel great about saying I will get my revenge one day! I don’t know in what form it will take, how specific it will be and if I will ever tell anyone the inspiration behind it, but at some point I will use all of the anger, bitterness, resentment and hatred I hold (sounds terrible doesn’t it) to create characters, scenes, events, and plots that will be directly sourced from my recent experiences.
That’s all for the moment, it was something I thought you may find amusing and I’m sure, 100% positive in fact, that there are people out there reading this, plotting macabre deaths and creating horribly nasty characters with people from their past in mind…if those people only knew! Inspiration is fun stuff J


P.S: Please join me on all my social media pages:
And Author Profile Pages to keep informed of the latest releases:

Sunday, 26 January 2014

Never lonely with writing

Dear all,

Okay, so yes, I’m writing this while watching Real Madrid play…again…it’s a different bar this time but that doesn’t make it any better I know, I should be indoors writing. If I stayed in the apartment I would have had the temptation of the F.A Cup on television to watch so either way, anything other than writing this blog was out of the question. The reason I came out to watch is quite simple, it’s nice to be around people, and I’m sure it’s the same all over the world, people get together to watch events, whether it’s sport or otherwise. It made me think of writing this blog on how it feels to be alone. I’m in a different country where I do not speak the language (I’m learning Spanish but that doesn’t help when the language is Majorcan, but more of that another time), I am not working (I haven’t got the cheek to call myself writing, working) and I don’t have any friends here. One more thing, it is very much what you might call, ‘off season’. The tourism period doesn’t start for a few months so the vast majority of shops, bars and restaurants are closed and the apartment blocks and resorts empty.
I think it is fair to say that it could become easy to feel lonely, not necessarily isolated because there are still the local residents and some bars to go to, it is certainly not deserted or anything like that. I have an uncle here who has been fantastic in helping me settle in and introducing me to his friends and places to go. But on the other hand, you could disappear if you wanted, if you stayed in your room then a hermit’s life is easily achieved. This is what I was after however, and I’m not backtracking on that, in fact, I got exactly what I asked for! It’s turned out great, I have all the time I want to focus on writing and all the space to relax and think.
The comment I wanted to make concerns the cheesy sounding feeling of not being alone, regardless of how quiet it is around me, because I have my imagination and my work to focus on. It is a very strange occurrence when you become absorbed into your work, not necessarily writing prose, but perhaps the creation of characters, the working through of a scene in your mind, the development of plot, fast and furious note making (and the immediate destruction of them), letting your thoughts roam and so on. You may start with a specific idea in mind, or you may have no clue as to where the next thought is coming from but it is great fun getting lost in that process. It sounds weird I know, but you feel both like you are working towards your goals which is pleasing in itself, but you also feel a sense of happiness in the creative process (frustration and disappointment too it has to be said, in probably a greater proportion!) And with that, you never feel alone.

I’m not crazy. I don’t think the characters or ideas I am working on are real, I don’t talk to them (well, actually that’s not strictly true, I’ll blog about that another time) but it does feel real, even though you are fully aware it is all ‘make-believe’. I walk through situations and problems, I enjoy the difficulty of staring at a blank page wondering what the hell is coming next, and because I don’t know what is coming next, that is why you don’t feel alone, it is like you are waiting for people to arrive, your characters or worlds are being built around you.
I’m not going to talk here about the need for physical company, of course I cannot claim that writing replaces having people around you, we all have the desire to talk, to laugh, to argue, to hold and be held, and that is something different. Maybe I’ll write another time about that. Of course, with writing you still need people, you need feedback, comments, editing, reviews, etc. but a vast amount of that can be done via email or online, yes it’s great to have a sit down chat about your work and get that face-to-face engagement, but it’s not always possible, even if you are in the midst of your friends and family, life can be busy regardless, so I will always make the time to engage with my friends online, both professionally and personally. With Skype, Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and so on it is so easy to maintain relationships, you don’t feel cut off and that is a reassurance that I guess is always in the back of my mind. I know people are there if I need them, no matter that they are a flight away. I’m not at that stage anyway, I don’t need people to read my work yet (ahem, I still have to write it…), but I do need to say hello to my mum and know people are there.
What feels very comforting to me is let’s just say for the sake of argument, I am alone for the rest of my life. Yes not the nicest thought but let’s just say that to make my point, it makes me feel so much better that I will always have writing. I will always have my imagination to explore and in that sense, I will never be alone. I have watched and read many interviews with writers (and all different creative people) who are in their later years and they talk about the fulfillment they have from still having a working life long after the typical retirement age. We can write until either our minds or our bodies fail us and if we are lucky enough for that to be a long time, then I think it is a really positive and pleasant way to continue life.
So yes, I am away from my friends and family, and I miss them very much, but I don’t feel alone because I always have work to do!

Sorry I can’t quote all of the sources of these images but they were pinned to my “Bookshelves & Reading Places” board on Pinterest ( and thought I’d share a couple of related ones with you ;)


There are over 20,000 followers and over 40,000 images on the Thinking Plainly boards, I’ll be blogging about Pinterest some time soon but do follow if you like the site, obviously my boards are literature related but there is something for everyone.


P.S: Please join me on all my social media pages:
And Author Profile Pages to keep informed of the latest releases:

Friday, 24 January 2014


I’m writing this in a local bar. I’ve just spent an hour working through some notes over a coffee and would you believe it, Real Madrid are about to play and they are showing it on the big screen. I mean, what am I meant to do, go back home and work on some more notes? Well, yes, probably that is exactly what I should do, but I’m not going to, I’m going to stay here, use the time to write this blog and watch the match. Ahem…the perfect moment for writing about routine…

Everybody I have spoken to that has an interest in writing has made the comment that they too would love to have a year off to write, or perhaps be in a position to write full time without the day job. I am not a professional writer so this year away for me is not strictly speaking a change in that fullest sense, I am not now a writer because I am writing, if that makes sense, and if it doesn’t, it sort of proves the point. This is a year of change, of re-assessment and of taking opportunities. However, let’s put ourselves in the position that we are in fact making a living from what we have chosen to do, it could be writing in my case, or it could be music, art and so on, whatever it is you have dreamt about being, let’s say you have this year to ‘be it’.
            I have talked before about finding the time to enjoy your passions outside of the 9-5 working hours (or no doubt more) especially if you have other commitments too, but overnight that has changed, you no longer have the train to catch, you have no meetings to prepare for, there is no boss to report to…you are now the boss!

How do you go about your day if there is no traditional timeframe to fit around? It’s the position I am now in, having no deadlines for this or that task, no rush-hour to get through, no set lunch hour…you get the idea. The main point is that there is no external pressure. Everything that needs to be done has to be driven by me, and me alone. If I don’t get up in the morning, no one is going to wonder where I am. If I don’t get a set amount of words down, or read a certain amount, or edit a certain amount, it doesn’t matter one jot to anybody other than me. Do I therefore create a day plan? How much time do I allocate to certain activities? How do I know if I have done a good job? How do I be strict with myself?

Is it easy do you think to manage yourself?

I’m going to leave this with you for a bit. Have a think. When was the last time you had no responsibilities? When was the last time you had all the time in the world to focus on what you wanted to do? If that has ever happened, did you make the most of it? What was it like being your own boss? Did you tell yourself off if you didn’t work when you said you would? Did you feel disappointed in yourself? Did you overwork perhaps and make yourself ill thinking about how precious this opportunity was? How did you mark your progress against whatever targets you had set yourself (or did you even set targets)? Was it such a fantastic time that you swore to yourself you would never work for anyone else ever again?

After all that, you will remember I blogged about ‘enjoying the moment’ recently so please don’t think I am contradicting myself, it’s all about finding a balance as they say. I mean, what is the point of going away if you don’t go to the beach, if you don’t walk, if you don’t swim, if you don’t make (or allow) the time to enjoy your surroundings? There is a reason you want more time to be by yourself, or with your partner, or your children, or your gardening, or your running, or your whatever…don’t forget that.

So one day it’s football and the next day…’insert any reason you like here’. It will happen, no matter how good your intentions are, something will always come up to change your plans, some good, some bad, it’s all about getting the work done but perhaps not being so 9-5 about it. For instance, here are some road-side snaps from when I said I was spending the afternoon writing but instead met my uncle to go to Palma.

Let’s catch up about this in a few months; it’s only been a couple of weeks so far after all, let’s see what happens when the novelty and ‘newness’ has worn off and see how the real business of getting some writing done is progressing…or not…


P.S: Please join me on all my social media pages:
And Author Profile Pages to keep informed of the latest releases: