22nd May 2021 It’s on the way!
This is the cover of the latest in The Hooper Mysteries and the eBook is due for release in a few weeks. Each time reach this stage and I know it’s almost at completion, I get a little emotional. It’s almost like giving birth or sending your eldest off to camp for the first time. The saga doesn’t end here though, this is only just the beginning!
16th May 2021 Failure!
At the beginning of the year I bought myself a bonsai kit. I followed the instructions to the letter and sadly none of the seeds that I hoped would become tiny trees have flourished. I’m not quite sure what went wrong but I’m not giving up. I’m going to spend a bit more time researching this oriental gardening technique and hopefully, one day, I’ll have some success. It doesn’t really mean I’m a failure, it means I’m learning by my mistakes and that’s just the way I roll!
3rd May 2021 So… I bought a sewing machine!
It might sound like an everyday purchase but for someone who hated sewing in high school and did her best to avoid the class, it’s a big step. I never thought taking a bunch of fabric and creating something that brings joy into a life would interest me, but here I am with my singer, sitting with a cut out horse which I’m making for my great niece, sewing legs together. To be quite honest, I found it daunting to begin with. I worked in a sewing factory years ago and I didn’t enjoy it then, but when you’re working at your own pace and making what you want to make, it’s a different feeling completely. When I finish my work I’ll post a picture. Until then, feel free to step out of your comfort zone, just as I have.
28th April 2021 Too many projects!!
Is there such a thing as too many projects? I ask you, after being shut away from the world for so long and only having my work colleagues to talk to I had to learn to adapt. This meant learning new things but the more I learn, the more I discover how much there is out there. The world is vast and the possibilities endless. So realising I might be spreading myself a bit too thin is the price I pay for having so much on the go at once. Having said that, I wouldn’t be without any of the new skills and knowledge I’ve picked up. So if you’re worried you might have too much going on in your life, think again.
24th April 2021 A work in progress.
Adding another short story to my growing website made me realise how long it’s been since I actually published an eBook. My deadline has been stretched to it’s limit and not delivering as expected is frustrating. There is hope though. I have firm plans to get the next eBook out and there is just a tiny bit of fine tuning to go. Every writer will tell you that it’s annoying when you publish something which isn’t quite what you imagined it would be and doing that would just be letting myself down. So, until the eBook is satisfying to me, it will remain a work in progress. I hope you understand.
20th April 2021 Revelations
One of the most enlightening things to come out of lock down is how much I take for granted. A simple haircut becomes rewarding and although I’ve always enjoyed trips to the hairdressers, not being able to go has made me realise how important it is to me. Even exploring charity shops has become invaluable due to the fact that we were deprived and as shops, cafes and pubs open back up, slowly I’m beginning to take my place in society again instead of just going to work and coming home. It’s refreshing to have this new outlook and now I think I have an understanding of where I fit in to the universe and how each and every component is important!
13th April 2021 Bonsai!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
At the beginning of the year I bought a Bonsai kit online. It’s something I’ve always been interested in and I figured I’d try my hand at growing a tiny indoor tree. So I put the seeds in the fridge as instructed and waited…….. Finally, April arrived and I was able to plant the trees. Well It’s been ten days since I planted the Wisteria and now I have the Japanese Black Pine in a pot and I hope this works. I’m not much of a gardener, in fact, once the grass in the back garden was so long I lost both the kids for a week. But that’s another story. You can rest assured that as soon I see a peep of tree reaching up through the soil, I’ll post pictures ad toast my new found friend.
1st April 2021 A new month and new challenges.
April is turning out to be one of surprises and demands I’ve placed on myself. Always interested in starting a new project, I’m taking on Bonsai and Steampunk. The writing will continue, that goes without saying and so will the painting. There are so many different ways you can express yourself and trying things that take you out of your comfort zone gives you the opportunity to grow in different directions. I’m looking forward to creating new pages and adding pictures of my projects but most importantly, getting my latest eBook out.
29th March 2021 The disappearing year
We’re almost a third of the way through 2021. Daylight savings has started and the weather has made a turn for the better – for the next few days at least. I have some exciting plans for the coming months. As for my latest eBook, it’s almost there but still needs a few tweaks. I had planned to release it at the end of this month and sadly, I’ve missed another deadline. It’s going to take a miracle but I won’t let it deflate me. I’m working on it as I write this, just taking a quick break to get a few lines down. So it’s back to the grindstone and who knows, I might actually achieve what I set out to.
23rd March 2021 The changing season.
Well, spring has officially started here and I’m not sure whether it’s because of the new season but I feel more alive somehow. It’s almost as if I’ve woken from a long sleep and I’m ready to face the day. Maybe it’s my imagination playing some sort of trick but there is a difference. The suggestion of spring and lots more daylight brings hope and the end of lock down is only a breath away – at least I hope so. The past year will be one that I definitely will remember and I hope I never take freedom of choice for granted again.
20th March 2021 Bulking Up!
It gives me great pleasure when I share my writing with the world. Whether it be an eBook or a short story it’s satisfying to know that someone somewhere might be reading my work. So yesterday, I added another short story to my site. It’s not the type I normally write but more of a fairy tale. The story – Roses For Ever, can be found in the eBook Jacqueline and other stories. There are one or two more that I’m going to share with you from that collection but not today. Today I’m investing my writing time in my soon to be released eBook which is the next in The Hooper Mysteries. I contemplating the name at the moment but this eBook is not far off being released. I hope you’re looking forward to it as much as I am.
18th March 2021 Looking Ahead!
We’re in the second half of March now with daylight savings, the official beginning of spring and April on the doorstep. On the first of April I’ll be planting my bonsai seeds and although they’re going to take a long time to grow, it’s exciting. The hairdressers also open back up in April and I can’t wait to get a haircut. It marks the beginning of the end of what will hopefully be the last lock down. I’m keeping my fingers crossed!
16th March 2021 The Study of it all
Since the beginning of lock down last year I’ve accomplished a lot just trying to keep myself busy. It began with a few online courses along with yoga, and has progressed to arts and crafts. This includes knitting, a few home projects and painting. Learning to paint has opened my eyes to a whole new way to relax. When I write, the words come naturally and the sentences flow together to make a cohesive story. Well, it’s the same with painting. I find sitting with a brush and a pallet mixing the colours and bringing something to life is possibly as relaxing as yoga. But what’s even more important to me at the moment is reading about the masters who inspired so many to pick up a brush and create their own art. Lives ended early and some of the stories are tragic but their art will out live us all and they will be remembered.
12th March 2021 A new component
A while ago I started a tip section on how to write a series and I’ve added a new section. The all important editing section is now available on line under the Writing a Series section of my website. I guess its one of the most important parts of writing and having something that reads well. Remember though, when your story is good, people will read it regardless of the grammar!
9th March 2021 The Present
So I’m currently working on the next installment of The Hooper Mysteries. This has been a work in progress for quite some time now, but it’s finally starting to come to an end. Of course, there’s still a lot to do, but the story has a beginning, an end and the middle is almost finished. I can’t wait to get it out there. It’s so satisfying to finish a project and as one of those non-finishers, I’m quite proud of my accomplishments. I never thought I’d ever finish one novel but I’ve come up with a series that I love and the characters are quickly becoming my friends. When I first started writing The Hooper Mysteries, I thought I might have seven novels in me but I can honestly see myself writing these books for the rest of my life.
Over the next few weeks I’ll be adding more content to help you with your own series, so, I suppose – forgive me if I’m wrong, we’ve all got something to look forward to.
8th March 2021 Two weeks later!
Sometimes things go wrong in the worst way possible. After two weeks of illness – not the dreaded virus, I’m still not 100% and when you’re feeling off colour, life gets neglected in favour of relaxation and just trying to get better.
I’ve never been a list maker, until last year. I found that ticking off your day actually keeps you accountable and helps you to achieve more. Nowhere on the list is lie on the sofa and watch rubbish reality television, but sometimes we all need to take time away from the everyday struggle just to get things back on track. Hopefully, that back on track day is today as I work through my list and find I only have one more item to tick off!
20th February 2021 One of those days!
Do you ever have one of those days? You know the type. You don’t get enough sleep and go to work grumpy. Your reading glasses break and you have to fork out for new ones and to top it all off, you leave your iPhone in the canteen at work and only discover that you don’t have it after you’ve gone home and taken a two hour nap. Well, today was that day. I was so tired, I didn’t even realise I didn’t have my phone so I hotfooted it back to work to find that the cleaner had nicely given it to the woman who works in the office. The moment I found out, I felt blessed. I just made it home to find a delivery man at my door with a package for me so it didn’t turn out to be such a bad day after all. Hopefully, tonight I’ll get a good night’s sleep.
18th February 2021 Another short one
I added another short story to my website. A few years back now I put together a compilation called Jacqueline and Other Stories. Some of the stories in the book are going to be added over the next few weeks. The latest addition is called, The Pastures of Jordan and it’s one of my favourites. I have a lot of work that seems to go unnoticed on the internet so I’m sharing just a little of it with you. If you happen to read the story, I hope you like it.
16th February 2021 In Anticipation
On this pancake Tuesday, I find myself wondering if the world will ever be the same again. I’m sure you’ve all thought the same way or similar thoughts along that line. In anticipation for the end of lock down, I for one am looking forward to a few days away somewhere. Perhaps somewhere in the country where I can sit beneath a tree and read a book or paint the scenery. To be quite honest, I can’t wait. I’m not going to rush out there straight away of course, but there is hope in my heart that this lock down will be the last one and I can put my new skills to use in a more productive way. So as I eat my thick pancakes with lashings of cherry jam, chocolate spread, and clotted cream, I dream of the future.
12th February 2021 In with the old
I’ve finally began to add my short stories to the site. It’s been a long time coming. This is something I’ve been meaning to do for a long time and as well as my eBooks the short stories will introduce you to many different types of writing. eBooks aren’t for everybody and sometimes reading an entire novel can be a chore, but finding something that only keeps you prisoner for a short while is always worth having a look at. I have a lot of content for the short story section and hope to get it up over the next month. Meanwhile, remember there’s another eBook on the way and I have work to do so there’s no time like the present.
10th February 2021 Gilding
About 30 years ago – give or take a few, I was walking through the playground of the school my children attended and I came across a friend of mine. She was carrying a decorative mirror which she was taking to the charity shop. I had been looking for such a piece for some time so she kindly handed the mirror over. I planned to gild it. I knew the mirror wasn’t an antique, but it was exactly what I wanted.
Well, the mirror sat on the dressing table and followed me about from place to place as I moved on. But since the beginning of lock down, I’ve expanded my interests to fill the time at home. Now, after all this time, my mirror is finished and it only took 30 years, give or take a few.
Click on the link beneath the mirror to find out more.
9th February 2021 Slowly but Surely
They say everything takes time. I’m not quite sure who they are but they’re right. Slowly my website is evolving. When you have very few technical skills and you’re building an electronic platform yourself, there’s bound to be difficulties. I’m not sure whether the instructions are the problem or whether it’s me but when the wording is website jargon, well,what more can I say. That’s enough about my inability to read plain English.
My latest eBook is almost finished. I can’t wait to get it out there. It’s been a long and difficult past twelve months for me and although I’m not feeling sorry for myself, there is a tiny element of self-pity that’s looking forward to the end of lock down. I’m not sure about anyone else, but this last month or so has been slightly depressing and I’ve found myself looking for other avenues other than writing, hence the kintsugi. I’m going to share some of the other skills I’ve conquered due to the virus so keep your eyes peeled as there’s no telling when they might pop up.
12th January 2021 – Something New
Throughout the past nine months the UK has been in and out of lockdown and as a result, I’ve broadened my horizons. One of the skills I’ve learned is Kintsugi so I’ve added a tiny tutorial of sorts on how I took my broken crockery and turned it into a delight!
It’s not something you find in your average arts and crafts stores, but once you have the tools, the craft is quite enjoyable and although I found it frustrating at times, I didn’t swear at all. There’s a peacefulness that comes with Kintsugi. All I need now is a Bonsai tree to stand beside my repurposed china. So I bought a kit. After reading up on growing these miniature trees, I found that you have to put the seeds in the fridge for twelve weeks. This helps to stunt their growth. So, with my seeds in the fridge I’m waiting patiently for the first of April when the planting can commence. I’ll keep you updated.
1st January 2021 – Happy New Year!
It is indeed, a new year and hopefully a better one. After the events of 2020, or the one event which brought the world to it’s knees, 2021 has to be better – doesn’t it?
When I look back the past year, although it was quite grim, I find a year of learning and change for myself. The skills I picked up and the subjects I studied gave me a more positive outlook than a lot of people I know. I didn’t use the lock down periods as an excuse to binge eat and moan about not being able to go to the pub, I used the time alone to complete some online courses and learn a few skills to keep me sane.
I promised you that I would share my eBook publishing knowledge with you and this stats today. Last week I added a new page called Writing a series, giving you a beginning or a place to start. I’ll add to it as the days go by and also share a few of my new skills with you and how to complete the projects that I’ve been working on during the lock down period.
As for my new novel which is the next eBook in The Hooper Mysteries, I’m hoping to have it online by the end of March. The eBook is almost complete and I’m excited to tell you that it offers me the chance to explore something completely new.
So once again let me with you a happy new year and fingers crossed, it will be amazing for all of us.
25th December 2020 – Before it’s too late.
Here I am at 11.52pm wishing you all a very merry Christmas. I guess this is well and truly past the eleventh hour, but it’s never too late to spread a little cheer. I hope you all had a wonderful day and all of your Christmas wishes came true.
11th December 2020 – A New Look
After several months of procrastinating, I’ve finally upgraded my site so that I can include a lot more content. For now, I’ll be customising and adding to the site to improve the content and give you more of a mixed bag. It’s exciting for me and I hope you enjoy the extra bits and pieces I add to the site. Over the lead up to 2021, there’s lots of work for me to do to get everything in order but it’s worth it. If 2020 has taught me one valuable lesson, it’s not to put all of my eggs in one basket, so watch this space as it expands.
1st December 2020 – The Finale
This is the last month of a year that has been odd to say the least. With lock down after lock down world wide it felt as though the year would never end. Travel became a fantasy and trying to get a doctor’s appointment almost impossible. So, after eleven months of ups and downs, is there an end in sight? Most of us are optimists and continuously say, “when this is all over, I’m never going to take anything for granted again,” but will we? When the virus which held the world in duress for almost the entire year has finally been tamed, will we just return to the way we lived before or will we uphold our words and never take anything for granted again? Will we see people quit their jobs because living life and enjoying family is more important than money or will they slip back into the rut and continue to live to pay tax? These are just a few of the thoughts that constantly run through my mind. Have we learned anything from 2020?
I’d like to say that I for one have learned that life is too short and have spent the year studying,and working on new skills as well as writing. This has put my writing behind a bit, but when it’s all said and done, I’ve enjoyed learning new skills and studying something that might actually be beneficial one day. Who knows, I may continue the study in 2021. But for the moment, I’m just looking forward to Christmas and as the days grow shorter and the nights longer I take comfort in knowing that in the not too distant future, 2020 will be over and we’ll all take part in a new beginning.
20th November 2020 – Branching out
I want to talk to you about branching out. Sort of like a tree. When you think of a majestic oak, you don’t just imagine it having one branch – do you? I don’t. I see a miraculous structure of natural beauty reaching out in all directions. Although I’ve focused on my writing for quite some time now, it’s time to start including some of the projects I’ve been doing during lock down. I’ve discovered lots of ways to kill time besides going to the fridge. So I’m updating in a few weeks and adding a few of the skills I’ve learnt over the past eight months or so. Don’t worry, I won’t be adding home movies of me practicing my singing as there aren’t any. So there’s no need to shy away or run to the hills blocking your ears.
As for my latest eBook, I’m stumbling along and although I had planned to have it ready by Christmas, it might not make it. Please forgive me, but 2020 has been the strangest year I’ve encountered to date.
3rd November 2020 – The way of the world
Here we are in the eleventh month of a year that seems surreal. I never thought that in this lifetime I would see food rationed and people having to queue to get into stores and supermarkets. It seems a bit bizarre but for the second time this year we’re about to go into lock-down. I have to point out that nothing’s really changed for me. Apart from not being able to travel, I’m still able to work both at home and my part-time day job. So the only thing that’s different is wearing a mask.
In this day and age, even though the shops are closed, we’re lucky enough to have an online option with pretty much everything. Plus, there’s also the option of going out and exercising so taking a leisurely stroll or even a power walk around the neighbourhood is, I guess, a luxury. Sadly, I have an injury so my running has come to a standstill, but I’m alive and I have to be thankful.
As for my writing, I’m still hoping to get my next eBook up ready for Xmas. It’s coming along nicely and perhaps not having so many other options in life is a good thing. Meanwhile, stay home and stay safe!
17th October 2020 – The journey or the destination?
Which is more enjoyable? I ask you.
Sometimes, through no fault of our own, we rush through something just to get it done and forget about what we’re missing out on along the way.
The journey is the learning process. No matter what you’re doing or where you’re headed, what happens along the way is valuable and when you look back as you progress, the memories of increments of time or specific moments remind us of how far we’ve come.
When we reach the desired destination, whether it’s a place or the end of a successful project, we celebrate. Which is more important? They both are. Without the journey, the destination wouldn’t be reached and without the destination, there would be no reason to take the journey.
In my zen like flash of insight, I’ve learnt to enjoy the journey, savour every mistake and embrace the difficulties. It’s important to finish what we start and the length of time it takes isn’t important. The finished product or the end of the journey will be so much more satisfying if we enjoy how we get there.
2nd October 2020 – The path I’ve chosen
As we venture into the tenth month of 2020 the world around us erupts in a molten lava of finger pointing and blame as people pass away and the infection spreads. As the cycle continues around me, I relax knowing that I alone can only do my part. Worry escalates as the masses flock to testing stations and I continue to carry on with my mask in tow ignoring the paranoia and simply following the instructions of the powers that be.
I guess or I know the point that I’m trying to get across is that although we can’t control the acts of others, we can control the way we react to certain situations and I choose to stay calm and ride it out. I work in a supermarket where I face the public every day. I figure that if I haven’t had the virus by now – at least I don’t think I have, my chance of actually catching it are slim. There’s always the chance that I may have been infected and not known. Whether a bout of hay-fever might have actually been covid 19, I chose to remain oblivious. Call me irresponsible for not finding out and point your fingers chastising me, I will continue the path I’ve chosen.
16th September 2020 – Time slips away
It’s almost ironic that the title of this entry is time slips away. In my upcoming eBook there’s a bit of time slip and Bess Hooper and her friends find themselves caught between the past and a very uncertain future. I don’t want to give too much away, but it’s strange the way you can change the course and add your own little twists and turns that you didn’t even see coming. I guess that’s one of the perks of writing. When you create a story line that could potentially go on indefinitely, there’s the opportunity to take it many different directions and as The Hooper Mysteries are about time travel, it’s only that I should take full advantage of it. The eBook is still in a very rough form, but I’m hoping to have it out in time for Xmas. Before then, I’m going to publish a snippet in one of my blogs, so look out for it!
1st September 2020 A new month – a new beginning.
It’s the first of September and the beginning of a new month. For some of us it’s the first day of spring, for some, the first day of Autumn. Whichever hemisphere you live in the first day of anything always brings a freshness. Its a time to start things you’ve been putting off, or a chance just to carry on with what you’re doing. If you do have plans for today and you don’t quite meet the goal, there’s always tomorrow. Although it’s said that you should never put off until tomorrow things you can do today, don’t be down heartened. Just try again and if you don’t have any plans for the day, enjoy it anyway.
As for me, I’ve been working on my latest eBook and it’s coming along nicely. While I write it, it’s taken many new directions and is evolving with each chapter. As soon as I have a date for publication, I’ll blog it.
Enjoy the new season!
27th August 2020 Taking the hard road
There are so many great inspirational quotes in the world and all of them inspire people to do great things. I recently started training for a marathon. I know it sounds nuts, but some of my best thinking happens while I’m running. I’m inspired by the outdoors and the elements, so rain, hail or shine, I’m out there running and thinking, thinking and running. As you may well know, most writers spend their time bent over a laptop and when I sit for too long I get those aches and pains that invade my imagination and take over, hence the running and moving about.
Anyway I found inspiration in other athletes and one quote in particular pushes me out the door into the street. When you take the easy road, life is harder. When you take the hard road, life is easier. I think it’s true. When you go out of your way and push yourself to the limits – regardless of the task at hand, you exceed your own expectations. That’s when great things happen. So next time you’re lacking inspiration step away from the task and do something that takes you out of your comfort zone. Believe me, it works!
18th August 2020 Time gets away
Working on website content, a new eBook, studying, working and training for a marathon doesn’t leave much room for much else and I realised that as August slips away I haven’t connected with my followers very much. I guess it’s life and life doesn’t step aside fore anybody. I have to admit though, I’m not very far along with any of my projects and it’s frustrating to say the least. But, I have faith in myself. Remember the story of the tortoise and the hare? Well the tortoise plodded along and won in the end and although I’m a bit of a plodder at the moment, I can see the finish line.
04th August 2020 While I was sleeping
Suddenly, it’s August. I didn’t even realise but here we are. This year has been such a topsy turvy year and as we flip flop our way through it, it seems more like trial and error and there’s no intentional act. Looking from the sidelines, the world is still in chaos and the leaders of each country appear to be floundering and just stumbling through. It’s crazy!
In my little insular world there’s a calmness that’s almost surreal. Apart from having to wear a mask in some establishments, not much has changed for me. Drawing on momentous occasions such as 2020 can give you inspiration for almost anything. Whether you want to change career, paint, build a fort in the forest or write an amazing novel, there’s inspiration in this year. Think about where you’ve come from and where you’re going and draw on it. Think about the conspiracy theories and the crazy self cures that people flood social media with and turn them into fuel for your fire. But above all, stay safe, and if you’re enjoying the same calm as me, relish in it. Nothing lasts forever.
26th July 2020 Balance.
I just wanted to jot down a few lines about balance. In every aspect of life there are moments when you wish that you could be doing something else at the time. When these moments hit, it’s normally a wake up call. Are you really happy? When you’re unhappy with what you’re doing at the time it becomes a chore and takes the fun out if. The key to this problem is balance.
When I began writing, I loved it. I still do, but there is so much more to life than focusing on one aspect. That’s where the balance comes in. The best way to ensure your favourite pass-time remains your favourite is to take breaks – regularly. If you find yourself getting out of bed in the morning and spending the rest of the day sitting in front of the laptop, find something else to do for a few hours. Cooking, cleaning, walking, yoga, reading, are just a few of the important tools that we all have in our lives to help keep us on track. So don’t stick to the same old rut, climb out and take a different route. But most importantly, enjoy what you do!
11th July 2020 What’s coming up?
Over the next two months I’ll be upgrading my website and sharing tips on writing and self-publishing. There are so many websites out there that give just a bit of information and then ask for your email address or a small fee for a course they’re covering. I’m just going to share it. Whether you follow my website or not, if you’re a budding indie writer and you are looking for a few tips on writing or publishing, look now further. I’m sharing my tips for writing a series too. So if you have an idea, this might just be the place to look to get an insight into exactly what it takes to put an eBook series together. So stay tuned and keep watching this space!
5th July 2020 Free your mind!
For a while now I’ve been practicing yoga. It helps me to balance my day. I’m not going to write a massive essay on the benefits of this ancient practice, but the meditation and relaxation has given me a fresh approach to everything. I’m not joking.
There’s a lot to be said for gaining that peaceful easy feeling, especially when it comes to writing.
This photo was taken in Central Park in NYC. But you could be somewhere in countryside enjoying a picnic by a river. Even in the busiest of places – and NYC is a busy place, you can find peace. All you have to do is train your mind to find it.
Try meditation, it unlocks the mind to so many possibilities and clears the head for the new chapters to begin. It lifts that stereotypical veil and gives you clarity when it comes to character creation, but best of all, it presents an opportunity to change your thought pattern from chaotic to calm. Try it, I promise you won’t be disappointed.
1st July 2020
It’s the second half of the year and I’ve just this minute created my character mapping page. There are a few pics to help and give you an idea if you’re new to writing. I guess with anything, it’s a matter of personal taste and the way we do things differs from individual to individual.
So what’s coming up? There’s another eBook on the way, that goes without saying and more info pages to give you a bit of an idea on how I work and write my series. I’m also planning on a total revamp of the website so that it’s easier to navigate through. When will this happen? I don’t have a deadline. At the moment it’s all about fitting things in when I can, but the writing will always be a priority. It’s nice to come home to.
20th June 2020
Happy Summer Solstice.
It’s the official start to the summer in the UK and while I sit here sipping my herbal tea, I thank my lucky stars that I still have my health. After the craziness of the virus fallout, things are starting to get back to normal – whatever that is.
Now for the writing. My next eBook is beginning to take shape. This is the stage when all of the notes I’ve put down come together to form some sort of sequence. It means cutting and pasting paragraphs so there’s some sort of story. It’s a long way off at the moment, but I can see an end, and after taking a short sabbatical I’m enjoying the creative side of the craft. All I have to do now is finish what I’ve started.
In a few weeks there will be new content on my site so look out for that too. Oh, and don’t forget to enjoy the sunshine, like everything else, it won’t last forever.
16th June 2020
Half of June is gone! I’m not sure when that happened, but that’s life. Sometimes it just goes by without any notice and suddenly you realise and wonder what happened.
At the moment I’m in the process of putting together some content for a tutorial on character mapping. There are so many variables that go into the process and if you’re planning on writing a series then it might be worth a look. I hope to have it online around the end of the month. Hopefully, it will help those out there who haven’t got a clue how to start.
As for the Hooper Mysteries, they’re definitely not done with. I’m working on the next book in the series and hope to have it available by the end of September, but I’m not making any promises on that one. As soon as I have a definite date, I’ll post it. Meanwhile, enjoy life and treat yourself with kindness.
1st June 2020
June has arrived with lots of good intentions. But, if there’s one thing I’ve learned about myself, it’s to expect the unexpected. Even the most deliberate plans change and although I have a to do list a mile long, I expect there will be things on that list that mysteriously disappear without a trace. As we journey forward, our paths change direction without us realising and things that were once important become second place. Whatever you have planned for this month, today is the day to get excited about it. Write it down, tell as many people as you know, put it on social media because it’s easier to stay on track when others know.
So, good luck for June. I hope you all live up to your own expectations.
31st May 2020
Today I submitted a short story to a writing competition. I’ve learned by now to release all expectations. Just because you think your writing is spectacular other don’t always share your opinion. When I enter comps now, I have a really good feeling about firstly, having the guts to put my work out there, and secondly, somebody is actually going to read my work and judge it. That’s what writing’s all about. It’s not about winning or selling million copies of a book, it’s about giving to others. A story that’s been conjured in you mind, whether it’s what the judges are looking for or not, is a huge accomplishment and nobody can take that away from you.
25th May 2020
Firstly, welcome to my new followers. It’s really nice to know that I’m not just writing this for myself. At the moment we’re still in lock down in the UK, although, the restrictions have eased a bit. I hope that you and your families are safe and well.
I’m in the process of working on a new page for this site so look out for that. Time is the biggest factor and although I write, I also work part time so please, I’m asking for patience. It’s coming and I’m also going to revamp the site and make it more professional. I’ve been toying with the idea for a while and now it’s time to invest in me and the things I love, and writing is one of them. So, look for the new page and the new website.
For now, let’s be thankful that we still have our health.
16th May 2020
With the world beginning to recover slowly, I’m finding it difficult to find balance and move forward. As a writer, it’s difficult for me to get inspired at the moment and inspiration cannot be forced. It appears as though my focus is changing and that was never my intentions. But, I’ll continue because I know that writing is the one thing I always return to regardless of what life throws at me. So keep tuning in. There’s a new eBook on the horizon.
3rd May 2020
Before I knew it May arrived.
This is a stressful time for the world in general and working for someone else and myself is a strain. Sorry for the compliant. I should be, and I am, thankful that I’m not just employed but alive and healthy.
Over the next few weeks I’ll be putting together an info page on character development with a few pics of how I developed the characters for The Hooper Mysteries and how I keep track of them. So watch out for that. Meanwhile, although things look bleak, there will be an end to this and hopefully we’ll all arrive wiser than when it began. So keep on smiling and stay positive.
20th April 2020
Well you’ll be happy to know, if you have read The Hooper Mysteries, that I know have half a plot for Olivia Pilkington. This is the first of the spin-off books for the series and I’m excited to be visiting the characters once more. There’s something comforting in character development and when I go back and read about Bess and her friends, it’s like catching up with old friends. I hope to have the eBook ready to publish by the end of July, but there’s still a lot of work to do so I’d best get back to it.
12th April 2020
Happy Easter to all my devoted followers. I hope that where ever you are that you’re healthy and happy and enjoying all the treats that this holiday brings.
7th April 2020
As you well may know, the world is under threat and to compensate for my lack of freedom, I’ve started writing Olivia Pilkington. If you’ve read the Hooper Mysteries in their entirety, you’ll understand why I’m starting with this spin-off. If you haven’t, keep reading and you’ll make that discovery yourself.
Another thing I’d like to encourage you to do is start writing yourself. If you’re stuck at home, you must have moment when you’re caught up in your thoughts. Start a diary. You never know when you might actually discover a hidden gem that you can develop into a story.
23rd March 2020
It’s a difficult time we’re facing. At the moment, the world is in panic mode and it seems that two people pass away every ten minutes. Everywhere the media reports the decisions made by the government about the Covid – 19 virus and what the plans are to eliminate the bug that brought the world to it’s knees. So what can we do? Avoid the chaos. It’s nice to know what’s going on out there, but when social media is filled with doom and gloom, well, it’s soul destroying. I’m a positive thinker and I know that when it comes to a close, and it will, that I’ll be able to say I didn’t contract the bug and I didn’t panic buy. At the moment, if you’re stuck in isolation, all of my books are available on Smashwords for free until April the 20th. So chin up and stay home!
15th March 2020
The world is in chaos. People are stocking up on toilet paper and hand sanitizer. This morning I actually saw people running through the supermarket to get to the toilet paper isle. I should laugh, but it was ridiculous. Having come to the conclusion that people are stupid in general, I have to thank them for their inspiration. Just that one scene inspired a short story. I’m not sure whether I’ll just publish it on a website or enter it in a competition, but it’s definitely in the works.
10th March 2020
Busy, busy, busy. With s many projects its difficult to stay on top of everything. Competition closure dates are looming and other factors influence my everyday life, but I’m trying. That’s one of my more positive traits, I never give up. I just keep plodding along and with each hurdle, I jump a little higher so I don’t knock my feet against it and trip. If I happen to catch my foot and fall, I just get up and try again. That’s the key, keep trying!
1st March 2020
This year is disappearing. January takes it time and February goes by in a breath. As the days go by, I constantly review what’s working for me and although I try, sometimes I don’t work hard enough. On days like this, I sometimes beat myself up a bit, but I don’t remember all of the hours that I’ve put in prior to now. It’s a constant uphill struggle and writing is like everything, if you want to be taken seriously by others, you have to get serious about what you’re doing. I guess it’s just one of those lessons that life delivers.
13th February 2020
Reading is one of those joys that everybody should indulge in every so often. If you’re anything like me, you read every day. Not just the books that you find in your favourite genre, but anything you can get your hands on. This year I’ve tried to read a book a week as well as carrying on with my writing, marketing, exercising and of course, work. I find if I make a list – yes, you heard it here first, I’m now a list maker. I like to tick things off everyday and I enjoy the structure. I guess people change with age and perhaps that’s what’s happening with me. Anyway, read as much as you can and you might just find that when you step outside of your favourite category, you enjoy yourself just as much.
4th February 2020
Just like that, we’ve slipped into February without me even noticing. My thoughts and focus at the moment are marketing and getting my name out there with my presence on as many sites as possible. Its an arduous task, but a necessary one if I want to be competitive in an ever-growing industry.
If you’re like me and trying to establish yourself, my advice is to just keep exploring and turning up so that you continuously have something appear on one of the overflowing sites. It’s not difficult to do, it’s more a matter of finding the time to keep updating. I’ve been working from a tick list and although I include marketing every single day, I forgot about this tiny little piece of me that gets somewhat neglected. But, i’m continuously learning – after all, that’s what life’s about.
21st January 2020
As the month moves on and the days get slightly longer, my thoughts turn to the big picture. One of those big picture things is competition writing. I believe that short stories are the building blocks for success when it comes to writing. Having a limit on the number of words and the amount of time you have to put together a worthy entry makes you think and compromise where you have to. To write a story worth reading is the drive that spurs me on, knowing that I’m going to be judged makes me brave. It’s not about winning or losing, but the achievement of the actual entry that is the most gratifying. So that’s what I’m up to at the moment.
15th January 2020
Here we are halfway through the month more or less. To me, January feels as though it goes for three months. Not that I’m complaining of course. I don’t want the year to pass by without achieving anything. At the moment I’m polishing up some of my published eBooks and working on stories for competitions. I’ve also been doing a lot of reading. It’s always a good idea to read as much as you write. It gives you an insight into different styles and what’s on the market too. I have a particular style myself and I find the easiest books to stay interested in are those that are written in the way I write. I don’t have a particular genre that interests me more though. I’ll read just about anything.
9th January 2020
I can’t believe that it’s over a week ago since I visited this page. January is such a busy month. It’s all about marketing and the different ways to go about it. There are so many sites that offer low-cost, effective marketing, that it almost makes my head spin. I’m also working on marketing within the ebooks that I write. I’ve read several books where there is a blurb to another book by the same author and it never occurred to me to do this. I’m a bit slow on the uptake sometimes, but it’s all a big learning curve. The most important thing is, I’m still enjoying it and that’s what matters the most!
1st January 2020
Happy New Year!
It’s the first day of a new month, a new year, and a new decade. This is the time of year when we make resolutions and then forget about them as January drags along slowly and the 31 days feel more like 76! I’m not one for making resolutions, but this year I have a few. One is to be more successful and make my writing work for me. I say this at the beginning of every year, but each day is a learning curve and with every day I gain more knowledge about the behind the scenes business. I’m looking forward to a lot of changes and one of them is a revamp of my website. So without any hesitation, let’s begin!
31st December 2019
It’s the last day of the year and the decade and as we creep into 2020 quietly I can’t help thinking how far I’ve come over the past few years. My work is out there on display and the old feelings that once haunted me have been buried under a pile of optimism.
I wish you all a Happy New Year and hope that you are all you can be in the coming year.
25th December 2019
Merry Christmas everyone. Thanks for taking the time out of your busy life to look at my website and read the books that I have so diligently worked on. If I could thank you all individually, I would. I wish you all the best for the coming days and I’ll be back in 2020 better than ever. Until then, enjoy the holiday season.
9th December 2019
It’s a busy time of year for everyone and finding time to get everything done is stressful. I find at this time of year, things that were very important until December become less important as the holiday season becomes more intense and there seems to be a lot more partying.
For me, I find that the more I try to focus, the more I get sidetracked, as my imagination whisks me away to somewhere only I go. It’s not a bad thing and a lot of my stories come from that secret area nobody else visits. In that spot, the characters I’ve created and those yet to come, merge into one multiverse. It’s great to imagine and I often wonder if it would be possible to write a mega-novel where they all meet. I guess only time will tell, but it’s definitely worth thinking about.
28th November 2019
Here we are almost in December. The year has almost disappeared, but not without a trace. I’ve accomplished so much and there’s still a month to go. So much has happened in my personal life and without boring you with the details, this was my year of invincibility. Everything that happens does so for a reason and the reason is to make you stronger. So if you’re reading this and wondering whether to try something new or step out of your comfort zone for a while, I say do it. You might actually succeed.
As for my writing, I’m still progressing. I’m always looking for ways to improve to bring you a better story, so keep reading – please.
22nd November 2019
It’s finally finished and as the series comes to an end, I’ve decided that I can’t put the characters to bed, I need them. It’s so difficult after all of the time I’ve invested and I fully understand why so many authors chose to write series. Although I promised myself that I wouldn’t start anything new before Christmas, I think that this is a promise that I’m going to have to break.
19th November 2019
I can’t believe it’s been almost a month since I visited this blog. But time flies when you’re having fun. I’ve almost finished the final installment of The Hooper Mysteries as we know it, but that doesn’t mean I’m through with the characters yet. I think I’d miss them all too much if I put them to bed too early. I guess we’ll have to wait and see what happens in that department. It’s been fun though and my biggest project to date. Having said that, there’s always another avenue to explore and that’s exactly what I intend to do.
24th October 2019
As the year moves forward projects come to an end and I’m both sad and excited to announce that on the 5th of December, the final installment of The Hooper Mysteries will be available.
I’ve enjoyed the creation of this series. Mapping the characters and inventing storylines had provided me with hours of entertainment. It might sound funny, but if you’ve never completed a project like this one, you should try.
The Mystery of the Clock Tower is available for pre-order both on Smashwords and Amazon, and it’s just in time for Xmas.
22nd October 2019
When I first started writing, I thought I was good and everything that I wrote would just wow every reader who looked at it. Boy was I wrong. Recently, I looked back at some of the stuff that I have written and realised that I have come a long way since the beginning.
I remember a story that I submitted for a competition – this was about 10 years ago now. At the time I thought it was great. A few years ago, I found the story in amongst some other files on my laptop and read it. Even I could see that it was badly written and needed redoing. So I wrote it again.
Writing is like anything else that we try throughout our lives, practice improves it. At the moment I’m going through the manuscripts for the eBooks that I have online and improving them. The story doesn’t change, the writing gets better. And although I don’t strive for perfection (there is no such thing) I like to think that with each tiny improvement I evolve into a better writer.
I’ve just relaunched The Landowner’s Secret which is one of the first books I published and now it’s available on Amazon again. So enjoy!
13th October 2019
Here we are in October and I’m so happy to tell you that I have almost finished the final installment of The Hooper Mysteries. I’ve also changed a pic on my page and am in the process of working on The Landownver’s Secret too. Apart from that, not much has changed, but I’m really looking forward to getting my work out there and advertising a little more. Writing is such a learning curve. Once I thought it was just about having a story to tell, but there’s so much more to it than that. I love it though and I wouldn’t trade my love for anything.
28th September 2019
It’s all coming together now. I’ve revamped my Hooper Mysteries covers with a less is more concept to make the series more cohesive. I’m currently working on the final installment which is due out in early December. I feel sort of sad, but there are still individual character books that I’m thinking of writing to fill in the gaps and give my readers a more behind the scenes look at the story and its progression right from the beginning. The final book is written in a way which ties in a lot of what has happened throughout the series. It makes sense – trust me. A final scene might shock a few readers, but if I wanted to, I could begin again and write another set of books with a new lead character. It’s been so much fun I almost want to.
5th September 2019
Today I released the sixth book in The Hooper Mysteries and as the entire story nears the end, I’m feeling just a bit sad. The final chapter of the story is due for release in early December and I have decided to write spin-offs of different characters that Bess has met along the way. Like I’ve said before, it’s fun to create worlds and control the characters. I’m also in the process of revamping the covers of the books so that they look more like a series.
27th August 2019
Time passes too quickly and although I feel a bit neglectful, there is a very good reason. For all of you who are fans of Bess Hooper, you’ll be happy to know that the sixth book is almost complete and will be available on my Smashwords site from the 5th of September.
The series, which I’ve enjoyed writing is coming to an end and although I don’t want to give away too much, there’s a huge revelation at the end of this book. The Mystery of the Cracked Wall sees several characters who have appeared in previous books come together to help Bess with her own personal quest and when the truth is revealed, it’s a bit of a shock.
13th August 2019
When I write, I get this strange sort of God complex. I create worlds, characters and I control everything within. It might sound like I’m writing for the wrong reason, but of course, that’s not the only reason I write. I love to read. That’s it really and I’m hoping that even though the world has changed since I was a girl, kids today might once again pick up the habit of becoming so involved in a book that they forget the real world, just for a while.
At the moment, I’ve just finished the sixth book in The Hooper Mysteries and there’s a huge secret about to be revealed to the world. I can’t tell you what it is but the book is due for release on the 5th of September. So if you’re a Bess Hooper fan, you’re in for a treat.
1 August 2019
I met my deadline and after having Ravenous on Smashwords for just one day, it’s doing a lot better than I thought it would. I don’t have to tell you that with any type of art form there’s always a little apprehension as it most times it doesn’t stack up to your own expectations. But there will be opportunities to improve it in the future. Although, the outcome will always be the same and as writers evolve, they know that they can improve the standard keeping the storyline the same. I will get a link on here over the next few days.
17 July 2019
Life gets busy, we all know that. Between finding a new place to live, moving, and overseas visitors, I’ve let my writing slide for a moment. Now, with a deadline looming, I’m back and slightly panicked, but keen to continue where I left off. Ravenous should be out at the end of the month as promised and also the sixth book in the Hooper Mysteries is on the way and should be ready by the end of September, so if you’re a fan of Bess and her gift, watch this space.
2 May 2019
Been working hard on the sequel to Scavenger and it’s coming along well. The thing about writing is if you take a little time away from the project, it’s difficult to get back into the rhythm, but I’ve managed nicely.
Ravenous should be online by the promised date, after which I will continue with The Hooper Mysteries. When we last left Bess, she had just had a visit from her future self. It’s coming to a head and the revelation in The Mystery of the Cracked Wall might just shock a few people. But more than anything, I hope you enjoy it.
25 April 2019
In this life, I’ve learned a lot. The most important lesson is to never give up. My mother always said with each no you get closer to a yes. Whether she meant it was a numbers game or was talking about the little improvements you make each time, I’ll never know. With every no or every rejection or even the competitions that go by without so much as any notice of how I’ve done, I get more determined to succeed. I’ve been writing since I was a kid and I’m not giving up.
10 April 2019
I did it again. I’ve neglected my website. My key focus at the moment is balancing my writing with everything else. There is so much more to life than writing, but I do enjoy it. When I create characters and a world of fiction, it gives me a sense of satisfaction to think that somebody might be engrossed in a world of make-believe that came from somewhere in my imagination.
People often ask me where I get my ideas from. I don’t have an answer, they just sort of happen. I’ll think of something that will take on an entire life of its own and quite by accident, there’s a fresh new world with interesting characters. At least, I hope they’re interesting.
It’s back to it now. I’ve just arrived home from my part-time job and put a load of washing on. Time for me to do some real work!
11 March 2019
Well to say that time has passed me by would be an understatement. But I really have been busy. I published a new book, the fifth in The Hooper Mysteries series and have been working on the sequel to Scavenger. Not to mention the short story competitions that I am working on entries for. So although this blog is slightly neglected, my writing is still going strong.
By the way, writing short stories for competitions is the perfect way to practice. There are several on the internet and some even give you a title. They cost very little to enter and there are competitions that will provide a critique of your writing for a small fee. It’s worth it if you’re serious about your craft.
29 January 2019
It’s been a few months since I did anything to this website and I feel guilty. Taking a few weeks off to enjoy Christmas and the new year, I’m finally back on track. I’ve just finished the fifth installment of The Hooper Mysteries and it’s due for release at the end of March.
As for YouTube, it’s a work in progress, but definitely coming together. So hopefully it won’t be too much longer before I start to share some content. To be honest, it’s a little more difficult than I first anticipated, but something I’m looking forward to accomplishing.
08 November 2018
The countdown’s on, in a few weeks I’ll be starting the YouTube channel and reading my stories to the world – or whoever tunes in. I’ve been thinking about this for a while and although there are a few questioning thoughts, I’ve decided it’s now or never.
It’s sad when you procrastinate and every single day that passes by is another day lost. But the day is coming closer. I had planned a Halloween special, but it came and went and I wasn’t ready. But I’m definitely not waiting until next year.
23 October 2018
A big thank you to all of those who had actually read my books and left a comment. Every time an eBook gets a rating, it moves up the ranks and gets a little more attention.
The YouTube project is well underway and I plan to kick it off on the 31st of the month with a bit of a Halloween special. I’m a bit nervous. It’s one thing to put your work out there, but it’s a completely different story when you decide to go online and read it to people. But I’m hoping for success. Luckily for me, buying sweets for the scariest night of the year means I’m in for a treat. Not many people come knocking on your door when you live on the top floor of a secure building!
13 October 2018
Thanks to everybody who has supported me in any way. It’s time for me to step it up a notch. There are so many people in the world these days who are time poor and all they want to do is get in at the end of a hard day’s work and relax. So instead of you having to read my books, I’m starting my on YouTube channel and I’ll be reading you a story each week. That means that you can just kick back with a cup of tea and enjoy. So dear reader, watch this space!
04 October 2018
It’s great when you stumble across something that you’ve based an entire novel on. On a recent trip to Wales, I visited a pop up market and found this triskelle in a stall which sported Celtic jewelry. I had to buy it of course.
Well, after plugging my book – The Mystery of Kissing Gate Woods, to the woman at the stall, I took her card. The pendant is made by Celtic Treasure and they have some really nice pieces.
Anyway, while I was in Conwy, I did the whole sightseeing thing and visited the tourist attractions within the popular hamlet. If you’re a writer or you’re even thinking of dabbling in a story or two, travel is the best source of information and inspiration. In the space of just a few days, I learnt so much that I can include in The Hooper Mysteries that I’m almost rushing to finish my current book so that I can start five more!
26 September 2018
When I first decided to start writing seriously, I thought that if I wrote a book and sent it out to loads of publishers surely someone would want to see it in print, boy was I wrong. Just trying to get someone to take you seriously is a hurdle. So after years of rejection, I decided it was time for me to embrace the world of online self publishing.
There are millions of eBooks online. This is a fact, and all of the authors who write these books start off like me. They have a dream, a vision of what they want their future to look like. My dream is now a permanent fixture. It won’t move aside or let me stray too from it. It constantly whispers to me reminding me that if I continue to nurture it, it might just come true.
Writing, creating, imagining, this is just a small part of what it is to become a success. The majority of my focus at the moment is marketing my books. After reading several online articles by writers who have achieved success, and listening to countless podcasts, it’s begun. An onslaught of messages and emails to friends, family, and even people I don’t know. Because dear reader, it’s all about algorithms. Until recently, these pesky little buggers didn’t even enter my thoughts, but to rise to the top, I need my readers to rate and comment. That’s how it works. I’d rather have fifty 3 star ratings than one 5 star. So if you’ve read any of my work, please be a little generous and rate the eBook. While you’re doing that, I’ll practice patience.
17 September 2018
I’ve had this website for a couple of weeks now and realised that I hadn’t really written anything more about myself. All I’ve really done is post my books. So let me tell you more about me.
On my Smashwords profile page it says that I was born in a library. This isn’t true. I was born in a hospital in Somerset, UK. I wasn’t really fed classic literature either. I ate food, just like everybody else. So now I’ve admitted that I make up stories about myself, you probably won’t believe anything I write. But it makes life just a little more interesting, doesn’t it?
Isn’t life just one big story about you? Its amazing you know, everyday life. The amount of inspiration that’s on the other side of the door, well it makes my head spin. For instance, I was walking to work one morning – I start at five. It was dark out and I tend to cut down the alleyways. Anyway, at the end on one of the lanes was a guy wearing a weird sort of balaclava. Most people would turn and walk the other way, but not me. I wanted to know what he was up to, so I continued on my path. I still don’t know what he was doing because I didn’t want to get too close – maybe rolling a cigarette???? Anyway, I started thinking about it and turned the incident into a short story which I’m putting into another collection.
It’s the simple things in life that inspire me and hopefully I’ve inspired you to look around and take notice of everything. Perhaps I’ll be reading your books one day.