How I Make Myself Write Every Day, Fife and Indiana Jones

Hello, how have you been? Hope you are all well. It’s been a busy old time for me lately. I’ve been battering away at the old laptop like typing was going out of fashion and I’m now nearly 20,000 words into a new young adult book I’m writing. I am so loving it. Eventually, I will screech to a halt and it will take major willpower to get back into it. This happens to me for every book, I get maybe two-thirds of the way through and then hit a wall. I sit and can’t think where the story is going, but I force myself to keep going and eventually I get back in my stride.

This book is about a teenage girl and is set in rural Fife, Scotland. Fife, if you have never been, is just lovely. There are loads of lovely wee fishing villages all over the place and it’s a great place to visit. So, in honour of Fife, I have decided to show some of Fife’s attractions (in pictures) on this blog.

Here’s my favourite place in Fife, Culross where Outlander is filmed.

And again…

We have some spectacular places in Scotland, we really do. So lucky.

Anyway, where was I? Ah yes, the blog. Well, what do you want to know about this week? I’ve been busy writing…I got back into it some months ago using tips from Hal Elrod’s The Miracle Morning for Writers (also cowritten by Steve Scott). It basically gives you a way of focussing your attention on the project you are doing. I have been following it, then I fell away, but kept writing and now I’m back on to it. I worry that I’ll lose my focus. Plus I like the structure of his ‘miracle morning’. It’s all about setting aside time to do certain actions, and using visualisation, meditation and affirmations to further support your decision. I don’t want to get into it too much as it’s all in the book, but if you are desperate to do something, whether that’s write or start a new business or even be better at your job now, I’d suggest looking at Hal’s books. They are really good. If you want to succeed at your chosen thing then you have to ditch procrastination and get this book.

If you don’t think it can help you, look at what I’ve achieved this year: I have re-edited and am about to re-publish Dusting Down Alcudia (it’s even better than before); I have written the rough copy of a sequel to aforementioned Dusting Down Alcudia; I finished a rough of a murder mystery; I re-edited Ham; and I’m almost halfway through a book for Young Adults. Focus is not a problem I’ve been having this year and it’s thanks to things I’ve learned via the Miracle Morning.

So, what else have I been doing? Well, at the moment I am writing on my dining room table despite the fact I have a lovely study (the former dining room of our house) in which to write. The problem was I couldn’t even get to my desk because of all the boxes that were still there following the building of the extension. So, I have cleared away a good bit of it and will finish it today. I can now sit at my desk…just need to clear that now! 🙂

Finished the Sookie Stackhouse books and went straight on to Cassandra Clare’s City of Bones, part of the The Mortal Instruments series. It’s aimed at young adults, but I don’t care. I’ll read anything. Thoroughly enjoyed it, may have to start watching the tv series now!! Am about to start the sequel, City of Ashes. Is he really her brother?  Will the other come out? Will they get the cup back? (Sorry this is a bit cryptic, but I don’t want to spoil it for anyone). I need to read on.

Watched Raiders of the Lost Ark yesterday and thoroughly enjoyed it. It was on the day before, so I recorded it and watched it yesterday. Love the Indiana Jones. They are fab stories, plus Harrison Ford is just yum. I have always loved him, always will. He’s still a good looking man. So, to celebrate the films, Indy and Harrison (whaddaya mean there were other people in the films?), here’s a couple of gratuitous pics of the man himself (can’t you just hear the theme tune in your head right now?):

 

 

Okay, now I have salivated over Harrison Ford, I am going to end this blog post. I hope you have a lovely day. Now I am going to do something incredibly exciting (not!), I am going to attack the pile of ironing that is currently piled up in a basket in my living room. It’s been calling ‘iron me, iron me’ for a few days now, so I need to do it. Such is the glamorous life of a writer! 🙂 Til next time.

Dawn xxxx

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You know you’re a parent when…

Monster High Doll shoes

Monster High Doll shoes

…you find a pair of Monster High Dolls in the en suite shower room and you’re not surprised! Or there’s a bit of sticky stuff on the kitchen floor that the mysterious ‘no-one’ did after getting himself or herself a piece and jam. Or your daughter claims to have run out of underwear only for you to find 28 pairs stuffed down the back of her bed!!

It’s been a bit of a mental week this week. I’ve been watching the kids during the Easter holidays and we’ve managed to do a few nice things. I had intended it to be quiet, but it hasn’t really worked out that way!

We went up to Geilston Garden in Cardross for a wander around and a cup of tea (I brought a flask!). We went with my friend Dawn and her daughter and while the kids ran around and made a lot of noise, we supped on tea and chatted about nothing in particular.

My parents and young niece and nephew came for lunch yesterday. The noise was…well…unbearable at times. It was my two – they are boisterous, happy weans who are incredibly noisy especially when hyper. They had fun playing with their cousins and it was great to see everyone. We went for a walk, but couldn’t stay out long due to the bitter wind that comes off the river. Blustery and bracing are the best words to describe it!

Today my girl had gone to the pictures with her friend and the boy is out playing with his. I’ve spent the afternoon putting together submissions of short stories to magazines and of my books to agents in the hope that I will get the short stories published and finally get an agent to try and get Dusting Down Alcudia and Ham published in book form. Wish me luck!!

I was gutted on Tuesday having watched the last episode of series 2 of Death in Paradise. I love murder mysteries and that series is great because it’s soft (not gritty and dark) and set in the lovely Caribbean. Just makes me feel all warm and cosy.

Still watching Breaking Bad and loving it. Has taken me some time to get into it, but now I get why everyone’s raving about it!!

A final word on telly programmes – OH MY GOD!! WASN’T GAME OF THRONES GREAT??!! A cheer went up when…well I don’t want to say because I know some friends of mine read this blog and haven’t yet seen it. Anyway, for those of you who have seen it, you know the bit I mean!! No-one’s going to miss that wee slimeball!! This is definitely my favourite show of all time!

Disaster struck! I had bought another niece and nephew chocolate chick Easter eggs. However, disaster struck when I left them in a bag on a chair in my study…I forget how hot it gets in that room when the sun is shining and, well, this happened…

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It should look like this…

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Meant to say: I invested in a replacement egg for the two of them!

On that final note, I’m away to get a well earned cup of tea and maybe some of the leftover Colin the Caterpillar cake I bought for yesterday. Yum!!

Dawn xxx

PS Here’s a quick selfie of me and Joanna Bolouri at her book launch last week…!

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Back to normal…early mornings, early nights

Lovely pic by German photographer Andreas Krappweis. It's called Dandelions.

Lovely pic by German photographer Andreas Krappweis. It’s called Dandelions.

I am finding getting up for work difficult this week. On Monday, I got up at 6am, did the full day and was back in my bed sleeping by 9.30pm. On Tuesday, it was the same except the lights went out at 9pm. Last night, I managed to stay up til my normal time of 10pm. I was just exhausted earlier in the week. I think it was a combination of dark, early mornings, the horrible weather and the long, long drive to and from work. The kids didn’t fare any better, especially the boy who just loves his bed and hates getting out of it in the morning (unless it’s 4.30am on Christmas morning that is!). Anyway, I suppose it’s just a question of us all getting used to it again.

Anyway, how have you been? How’s your week been? Busy?? Today, the sun is splitting the sky and it’s a very welcome relief after the weeks of heavy rain, flooding and gale-force winds we’ve been experiencing in Scotland. Still, at least it’s not as bad as the poor Americans…can’t imagine what it’s like dealing with minus 50 temperatures!! Brrrrrr! We’ve been lucky here, we’ve not had bad flooding – just the back garden – but our neighbour’s parents had flooding under their house. The water didn’t rise, which meant none of their stuff was damaged, but it was touch and go there for a while.

Am looking forward to seeing the publication of the third DarkIsle book soon. Not got a publication date yet, but it’s all been set out and the artwork is being done, so we’re nearly there. As soon as I know when it’s due out, I’ll let you know!!

Also, watched a great film last night. It’s called The Heat and stars Melissa McCarthy and Sandra Bullock. This film is not for those who find swearing offensive, but as myself and my hubby do not we really enjoyed it. It’s funny, clever and…yes, I’d recommend it.

Anyway, I feel I am just wittering on here. I have lots to do. Set out a new workplan for myself in relation to writing, so am determined to start writing again. My other plan is to see if I can get Dusting Down Alcudia and Ham – Memoirs of a P****d off Mother published. Wish me luck!!

Right am off to practise piano as I have a piano lesson today with Diane, my lovely piano teacher.

Til next time.

Dawn xx

Trying to muster up the energy and inclination…

…to write today. It’s incredibly hot already and my face is streaming thanks to particularly bad hay fever today. Hmmmm…write or lounge on sofa watching telly??? Hmmmm.

So, how are you all today? Looking forward to another fabby sunny day in the UK? I love the sun, I really do, but I can’t stand the heat. If it’s too hot, I’m inside. Am defo a northerner. I prefer cool to hot and the thought of sunbathing is abhorrent. Anyway, it’s hot today, it’s a beautiful day in fact, and I should just be enjoying it instead of moaning about the heat. Our poor guinea pigs are finding it a bit hard. I’ve got them outside at the moment enjoying some shade within an exercise pen we have for them. Poor old Darcy is long-haired and I think he’s finding the heat particularly hard. I could offer to dunk them in some cold water, but the way they give me stinkers of looks after a bath suggests that might not be such a good idea. Our ‘Ginns’ do not like water.

It’s peaceful in the house just now. My children are at a summer club run by our local church. They’ve been going every morning this week and been loving it. I’ve been loving it cos it’s given me some much needed peace and quiet and time to myself. The minute they are back, however, they revert to fighting and calling each other names. Ah siblings!!

Right, I am procrastinating. If I ever want to get Ham published I need to get it ready, so I will leave you just now to go and concentrate on my new book.

Til next time.

Dawn xxx

Just watching ParaNorman…

ParaNorman

…and it’s great. The one thing I’ve found about being a mum is that you can watch kids’ movies without feeling awkward. And I love kids’ movies. The kids are at summer club just now, so am having a rare couple of hours of peace so decided to catch up on ParaNorman – about making of the film. We watched it as a family the other day, but I always miss bits because inevitably the boy always wants to talk through it or the girl – if she’s already seen it – will fill you in on the plot.

Anyway, am still off on annual leave and have been busy – between runny eyes and the sneezing that have been a major part of my life recently thanks to hay fever – marketing Dusting Down Alcudia and working on my new book Ham, which is due out next month. I’m also doing the final final tweaks to the third DarkIsle book which is due out later this year. It’s really exciting.

NB free copy of first three chapters of Dusting Down Alcudia can be found at the right-hand column under My Books. If you like the book, I’d appreciate a review on Amazon or Kobo.

I’ve also just finished that biography of Enid Blyton and am all inspired, despite the fact I didn’t feel she came out of the book as being a particularly warm individual. Anyway, I still love her books and, as I said, I am all inspired.

Right, am off to continue enjoying the peace. At the moment, it’s cool outside, which is great after the high temperatures we’ve been experiencing lately…I may just get some weeding done after all today!!

Til next time

Dawn xx

Flamin’ hay fever is making my life a misery

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Am on for a moan. I have hay fever, I’ve had it forever and this year it’s making my life a mysery…again!! My eyes are itchy and puffy and red – I look like an old woman – and I’m sneezing for Scotland. I have taken anti hystamine tablets and now feel like I want to remove my eyeballs and dump them in a glass of cold water. Damn you pollen!

Ham cover

Right moan over. What have I been up to this week? Well, it’s been rather busy. Just been putting the final touches on to my novel Dusting Down Alcudia. I’m awaiting ISBN numbers and once I have them will be uploading them for sale on Kobo, Kindle, Ipad and Nook. If anyone knows of any other ereaders out there, let me know and I’ll upload them on to that too. Will upload a PDF of the first couple of chapters up to this blog so you can have a taster of it. Have also been continuing to edit my second novel for adults, called (at the moment) Ham. It’s about a a woman called Susan who leaves her domineering husband and joins a Wham tribute act. There’s a fair bit of swearing in it, mainly because I wanted it to be real, but I think it’s quite good and hope you do too. I will be uploading that in the next few weeks. I’ll let you know.

This week was also the school’s church service. I’m not at all religious, but it was a nice service and the kids were cute when they were singing about a butterfly (the boy and his class) and I’m Planting My Feet in The Footsteps (my girl and her class). It was nice. Our local Church is lovely. I like churches as buildings, so was quite happy to sit in it and take in the lovely architecture and stained glass windows.

Last night, the girl and her Brownie troupe put on a show about Pirates who go looking for treasure. It was written by a local mum who is one of the Brownie leaders and was really really good. My hubby, the boy and my parents were there and we all really enjoyed it. The girl came off stage all hyper and it was nice to see her so happy and enjoying herself. It was a nice night.

Today, it’s rainy outside, so bang goes my idea of weeding the front garden. So, I’ve decided to get on with Ham and am also going to sew the girl’s dress and the boy’s shirt and jeans. I’ve overlocked them, so am hoping they’ll turn out okay.

Right, am away. Til next time!

Dawn x