Random Thoughts: What Astrology Taught Me About Writing… The Time Is Now

Love of writing

Before I started to write this post I had to step out into my garden and take a deep breath.  It’s late 11pm but I’m in a random reflective mood, I’ve not blogged in months so here goes some random thoughts…I can’t believe the journey I have been on this last year, personally and as a writer.  For a year in August I’ve been editing a magazine and writing non-fiction. During this time I’ve had the pleasure of going back to Astrology, as I have written to horoscopes for Concision Talk Magazine. I fell into Astrology, Tarot and all that good stuff when I was about sixteen, that’s another blog post. Anyway, as you read this now in June 2018 Mars the planet of action, determination, goals, motivation war and conflict has gone retrograde. This basically means moving backwards from an Earth’s perspective, during this time it’s when we are forced to revisit old ground, anger can come out for some depending on circumstances, it’s not a time to start new ventures things come to completion normally.  Also, it’s a time of focusing directed energy as Mars’ forceful motivation, determination and ass-kicking energy is in full force!

The interesting thing about a planet’s retrograde is that is happens in a ‘house of life’ for us all, depending on your birth chart where exactly. For me when I pulled up my chart on the 26th June the day the planet went into retrograde until the end of August, the retrograde is happening in my 5th house, the house that’s linked to creativity, romance, children, life’s pleasures and enjoyment.  This told me, this is the house I need to go back to creativity, what I love and look at old projects.

What is even more interesting about a Mars retrograde is that it happens every twenty-six months roughly, if you look back at the dates and times for yourself personally, you’ll have an idea of lessons you need to learn in your own life, or themes in your life etc. For me the retrograde from 2010 were largely based around my marriage, the home and family and creativity. You’re not going to believe this, I looked at my Astrological birth charts during the retrograde periods as far back as 2010, in 2016’s retrograde I realised I wrote my first novel, got my first publishing deal and that novel turned out to be an award winning novel, the retrograde took place in my 4th house of life which is connected to the family, home, recent past and your foundations.  ( Back then I was not following Astrology as I once did all my life, and had no idea this transit was happening in these areas). However, I was going through some shit! Massive changes which lead to me being free to write and so I did…  just before the current retrograde Mars almost two years later I started to write another romantic suspense, sent over three chapters to an agent who requested the full book from me, this was in late 2017 early 2018. I moved country  just as she come back to me, and had the magazine going so writing fiction slowed. If I’m honest, I never really could get into writing the fiction again I was loving the non-fiction of the magazine. Now, under this Mars retrograde in my 5th house of creativity, romance and life’s pleasures  clearly I’m being pointed to go back and prompted not miss the chance with the agent who is interested in my work…  write that damn book. I also, really miss my ‘home’ of fiction writing, you can take the editor out of the writer but you can’t take the writer out of an editor is how I feel. I found it so enlightening and awaking this week to study Astrology and notice  that during the last Mars retrograde, I wrote my first full 90k word novel during the exact three months it took place! Every day I wrote, like a crazy woman forget editing… and it showed LOL. I just wrote and later down the line polished the book.

Astrology teaches you so much in life! ‘As above so below’…. my break from fiction writing is clearly over as of this month. I’ve set the challenge, Mars’ retrograde will unleash the fiction writer in me again, and yes you better believe that agent is going to snap up my book like it’s the best thing she’s read this year!  I am I’m going back to that manuscript I feel a stronger writer… even if I was badass before *wink.

People check your birth charts see what this Mars retrograde can mean for you, if you believe in all that ‘mombo jumbo’ it really can move you to where you are meant to be! If you have no clue how to do it, I’ll do it!  It will take me like two seconds to pull up a chart using your birthday, location of birth and time of birth just email me! Don’t miss out on any opportunity or where you are meant to be when these cosmic changes transit, remember as above so below! The time is now!

 

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2018 Blogging & Reading Challenge Sign Up: 20 books, What A Year It Will Be! #amreading #books #bookworm

blogger shame challenge.jpg

 

Good morning,

I’m still up reading at past 1am. I just received an email from Herding Cats about a reading challenge ‘the blogger’s shame’. Bloggers who are book lovers receive LOADS of author review copy books (ARC) that we don’t always get to read, the pile grows. Over at Herding Cats they are pushing us bookworms to whip through the ‘to be read’ pile in 2018, with a cool blog challenge. I thought why not? Sounds like a great challenge, and blog hop. I will continue to do read and reviews for Enchanted Book Promotions and Net Galley. I’ve gone through my TBR on my Kindle, ARC emailed books,  and Netgallery here is a list of books  to read for 2018, no excuses. Take a peek if you’re an author maybe you’re there! If you have sent me an ARC of your book and it’s not here contact me here I don’t want to miss it. If you’re a book lover head over to Herding Cats see what this is all about, sign up.

I hope to complete this list. I know I will get side tracked with other great books that come up, but the intention is to read them all. 🙂 #bookworm

  1. Snatch Girl- LJ Kane, thriller ( reading this now)- FINISHED 12.1.18 reviewed here.
  2. Alpha Male- AC Melody, paranormal romance
  3. Reunited- Tammy Tate, romance
  4. Kiss & Tell and Dead Man’s Hand- Luke Murphy, thriller
  5. The Professor & The Bird – R. Franklin, romance.
  6. Pearls of The Past, M Rajakumi, fiction, contemporary.
  7. Search For Maylee- Didi Oviatt, thriller, mystery
  8. When Black Boys Are Left Alone- K. Harry, African- American.
  9. Claimed by Vampires, Seduced by Werewolf- Krissi Fortune, paranormal/ fantasy
  10. Pure Hollywood- C Schutt, contemporary fiction/ short story anthology- FINISHED 13.1.18 reviewed here.
  11. Coffin Path- K Clemants, Mystery, crime.
  12. 19 Souls- JD Allen- Thriller, Mystery
  13. A Cold Day in Hell, L.M Redman, thriller mystery
  14. Riders- Jilly Cooper Erotica, romance ( 900 pages!! I stopped about 400 pages through such a fun old classic).
  15. Daddy’s Girl- Ben Burgess, African American fiction
  16. Love & Happiness – Ben Burgess, African American fiction
  17. Wounded- Ben Burgess, African American Fiction
  18. Alice In Wonderland- Lewis Caroll – The FRENCH version not in English 🙂 ( Just cos I feel like reading this book in French  to remain bi-lingual I’ll add it).
  19. Capital Crime- Lisa Wilson, crime fiction
  20. A Time To Kill- John Grisham, fiction ( I have had this on my shelf for too many years).

Update 30th December 2017… The list just keeps getting bigger!!

  1. Make that twenty one books! How can I forget Only One Women – Jane Ridson & Christina Jones!!
  2. Infatuation books #1 and #2 – Kandie Marie- Erotic Urban Novellas
  3. Be The Architect  Of Your Mind, Body And Soul- Lara Alexiou, mind, body soul genre.
  4. One Love-  Denna Cabinian, Fiction

Daily Writing Prompt: Calling… My Calling Was Bitter Sweet, But Well Worth it!

Calling

 

Lemons.png

I’ve not responded to a WordPress daily writing prompt for what feels like months. I know, I know I always say ‘ so much has been going on.’ Truth be told it has… Where to even start?  Firstly, I should stick to the writing prompt word ‘calling’, then update you as to why I have not blogged a personal blog for months.

When I saw today’s word it made me think of my own calling, why I write, how I write, what it really does for me? As that’s why I write generally for me. I also thought about when my true calling to write came, and how it came.  The only person that knows this is my co-author Didi Oviatt  so here goes, the whole world and it’s mum is about to know. My true calling came at a rather bitter sweet moment in my life. To the outsider it may appear as a sad time, truth be told I was probably the happiest I had been for a number of years.

My calling to write, honestly, not just here and there  secretly but seriously meaning write novels and novellas regularly, came the year I decided to take off my wedding ring, divorce my husband, embrace the decision I had made to start over, leave him, raise my son (who was eighteen months old at the time) on my own. Yep! I finally ditched him I just had enough!! I laugh as I type now, because I never once shed a tear over it, I felt better leaving than staying it was a sense of relief to shed my ring. I threw myself into caring for my boy who I am sooooooooooo proud of and happy to have (who is now four), creating our security and new direction. Then out popped a 90,000 novel, a publishing deal, a re-vamp and self-publish of that novel, then an award for it. Shit! I feel even better about ditching that ring now. You see, once I did not only was I and my son happier, I was allowed to write I just could with no criticism, put downs, or bullshit. Leaving allowed me to become a better person a stronger person also an author.

I just never thought to take it seriously until I broke free, and took my nose out of another author’s novel that I was reading.  I was (and still am) a big bookworm before I started writing. I also never thought about submitting my work to publishers  before. I did it on a whim and stuck lucky  I guess, but my mum would say ‘ no Kim you’re talented not lucky.’ Thanks Mum.

My calling was bitter sweet, writing did not and still does not ‘take away pain’ ‘take my mind off what happened’  put it this way I did not need any of that at the time,  I still don’t and probably won’t ever. I just felt great being able to create. Not just stories, or articles but spend time at my sewing machine too, if I were not a writer I’d probably be a fashion designer or make-up artist I’ve said it so many times!

Fast forward two years down the line to 2017, divorce final, six books under my belt  my calling in full swing what did I do….. I  immigrated!!!  🙂 The reason why I have not had a real chance to do much writing wise or interact with you as I used to, is because I have been busy moving country I now live in France! I love London and I will always be proud to be British and from the UK’s capital  that’s where I spent the first almost thirty-five years of my life. But for a better quality of life for my son and I, security, and a brand new start this is what’s best for us both right where we are now in a new part of Europe. London will always have a place in my heart.

So that’s it, that’s how my calling to write came about,  I decided fuck this shit I’ll be happier and better off as a single mama, and so would my son we  can do this. And  that’s why I have been absent I have relocated to a place with 300 days of sun a year, better quality of life and for a new adventure and I hope one day to find my true husband…. after all I am a romance writer!

But guess what? I’m back y’all, ya  better believe it to! I’m back with a force so I will be a lot more active writing and especially blogging. Now I have the time. I’ve made the leap and dedicating much more time to writing because I can… after all it is my true calling as a vocation in life, I’ve proven this to myself.

 

The Lights Are On… But Nobody Is Home, Damn Creativity Block! #writerslife

Writer's Block

Hello everyone,

How are you all doing? How is November treating you so far? I hope it’s going well. For me I can hardly believe that we are two weeks in! Which means Christmas is coming and I can’t wait.

Since I last wrote a personal blog post (which feels like many moons ago), I have completed book #1 of my next romance series Romance in The City. It’s in editorial and with Beta Readers. Last night I sat down to continue writing for The Suspenseful Collection volume #2 with my co -author Didi Oviatt.  Do you know I could not write a Goddamn thing LOL. I don’t know what came over me. Have I been writing too much romance? I felt like I lost my suspense and thriller edge (if that’s possible) ….I just got distracted by the Internet and started watching make-up videos on YouTube…. so I gave up and focused on my book cover instead, for the romance novella. I brainstormed a few ideas and felt a bit better for doing something productive.

So far, for Nanowrimo I slowed a little in week #2. But this weekend the aim is to get back into it.  If you’re participating in Nanowrimo how are you doing? Are you knee deep in words or struggling creatively?  Either way may the creativity be with you this November!

Any tips on how to claim back my suspenseful edge? I was trying to craft a wicked crime scene with strong characters… something I pride myself on actually !  Last night every story I started I deleted. In my head I said I can’t send that to Didi to finish writing on…. If I do…..

Before: Didi

Didi (1)

After reading….

She’ll get on Skype and be like‘ WTF is that Kim, you expect me to finish writing that. LOL’ 

The lights are on, but nobody is home! Who stole my suspenseful edge give it back!! I hardly experience writer’s block, but when you write blindly with a co-author as a ‘panster’ , with no planning or discussion it’s such a challenge. Didi is so great at this her writing style is more panster than mine. Help!! The next collection has a lot to live up to from the first lot of stories, I am determine to blow you all away again. I’ll give it a few hours and get back behind the laptop, hopefully with my creativity strapped to my pants this time.

#writersproblems

#writerslife

 

Hello… Remember me? #writerslife

 

Love of writing.jpgEvening guys!

You probably thought I dropped off the face of the earth… I kinda did! For a hot minute. My blog posts have all been promotional for other authors, you probably noticed the lack of personal ones, or writing prompts while I’ve been tapping away at my keyboard. It’s been a while  since I said hey,so here I am with an update and to see how you all are?

Well… what’s goin’ on, Didi and I have taken a short pause from the weekly stories as we’re working on volume #2 🙂 . And we have volume #3 mapped out. You’re going to love it! I won’t spill the beans too much ( she’ll probably curse me out on Skype if I do LOL) so all I’ll say is, the next two volumes will be as suspenseful, if not more, and we have a great idea for volume #3 … longer stories…and…wait wait I better stop there, that’s all I’m saying for now.

Aside from this, I also revisited a manuscript I started to write a few years back, it was my first ever idea for a novel before I wrote A Stranger in France... And then won an award ! I’m glad I wrote it,but this story has been knocking around for so long. I ‘ve redrafted it way too many times before I settled on the plot. You know me, the plot is very important to me, it’s 100% a thriller with a touch of romance, rather than a romance with a thriller element. This means…a wicked who-dun-it is in progress and I’m so excited to write this novel with this spin on it years later!

Also I’ve got my beloved Romance Set in Paradise Series that I’m actually writing for.Book #3 is set in Greece in the Mediterranean this time,and a wonderful throwback to an era I love as well as in the present day. The writing style of this one is a little different from Havana Heat and Lover’s Retreat. I hope you’ll like it.

With my editor’s job at Conscious Talk Magazine I’m learning and loving every moment of this role. My team are outstanding, from work ethic to talent. The magazine is really an interesting read. Sadly, we’ve had a “gremlin” this week  it’s under maintenance online while the technical support look into the problem. We hope to be back online by the end of the week the latest, with some thought provoking articles for issue #3.

NaNaWrimo is approaching and you bet I’ll be involved. My last attempt at writing a novel in the month of NaNWrimo sucked! Only as the timing was right by two book releases over the summer… I can’t be mad with myself for not completing book #3 of the romance, this autumn I will put my best foot forward and knuckle down to do some serious writing.

So that’s it, that’s why I have been absent, finalising one anthology to do another co-author gig with Didi, plotting away with my thriller, editing at CTM and writing too. Some how I’ve also been a mama in between all that. 🙂

How have you all been? Great to connect with you all again.

Throw Back Thursday: In Memory Of Tupac Amaru Shakur 1971-1996 – The Conscious Poet/Rapper /actor #throwbackthursday #music

 

 

Throwing it back musically as usual on a Thursday! This week I thought a bit about Tupac, after a movie marathon the other night. I was up until 4:00 a.m watching the biopic “All Eyez on Me” recently released in memory of  him. I was impressed with the casting, the actor who portrayed Tupac is not only as drop dead gorgeous as the real man, (sorry no matter what you think of him, this man is a stunner!! 🙂 ), the actor also put over Tupac’s characteristics we know him for well.

One thing that I’ve always felt about Tupac is that no matter how “gangster” some my find him, he was at times a very conscious rapper and a poet.  He was in love with Shakespeare! His lyrical content at times was intelligent. Sometimes this may have been ignored. Or it could have been that sadly he was not “media friendly enough”, as his way of showing his consciousness upset and reminded certain groups of society members, about the struggle they turn a blind eye to… but those from poorer backgrounds facing the struggle could relate, no matter what side of the Atlantic they hail from.

Interestingly,  I have read things that suggest Tupac was a contradiction to himself, conscious on one hand but everything that young black / Hispanic males are stereotyped as, like he lived up to what society expect from young males of this background. Personally, I feel his delivery of consciousness came from a certain place, his environment, and who he was skin deep and may always be seen as due to history. And if you don’t understand  or acknowledge that environment you won’t get his consciousness!  He was associated with the Black Panthers. His mother is a very strong woman and supported the human/civil rights movement in the USA. You can’t get more conscious than that. He was a voice for a certain demographic of people around the world facing oppression, only some understood it while others saw it as aggression. I’ll never forget him, his voice represents the thoughts and feelings my own son, who is just three may feel one day growing up in a harsh world.

Today I’m throwing back two of my favourite hits from this award winning, platinum selling actor, poet and yes rapper… “gangster rapper” if that’s what you want to label him as… whatever… using his own words “middle finger up! Only God can judge him.”

R.I.P Tupac

16th June 1971- 13th September 1996

Died age twenty five!!!

 

 

 

Keep ya’ Head Up: Love this song with its conscious words, I can’t help but two step dance!

 

I ain’t Mad at Ya: Video made just a week before his death… makes you wonder about his death.

 

The Editor’s Life: Oh Boy! What Fun. #amwriting

Editor of Magazine

A new online, diverse magazine launching in August 2017. We aim to be in print too! http://www.conscioustalkmag.com

It’s been a week of the usual crazy days being mama and family life, writer and doing short stories, book reviewer and reading, and now editor! But a very productive week. Over at CTM we’re now a team of eleven strong writing warriors, preparing for launch day! All the columns I want to feature in the magazine are covered, apart from LGBT. Which is sad, but I am on a mission to allocate the column to a talented writer, I’m still recruiting. My other areas are covered, but I’d like a good few writers working on each section. Especially the Men’s Corner and Sport section, so I’m still considering submissions for areas.

We’re on social media now too you can catch us on Facebook, if you want to give us a like @conscioustalkmag and Twitter if you want to Tweet and follow us @conscious_talk. 

My days and evenings have been spent reading all the submissions from writers, I’m actually really touched and surprised at the response rate to the recruitment campaign! Some submissions have been poor of course and to be expected, some have been excellent and some have been mind blowing! So mind blowing it has led me to open up a new column, Conscious Poems. The team are international UK, Brazil, and even as far as Africa and the Middle East. This I’m so pleased about. The team are also super talented.

What have I learned?

Time management is key, even more as an editor than writer I think.

It’s not just about how good someone writes, it’s about the overall attitude of the person when it comes to building a team.

How to write a  snappy team brief with direction, so everyone knows what they are doing.

Sometimes, a writer may not be perfect. However, there might be a lot of passion in their work and you can see the potential.  Don’t be the editor to shun them with that f*ck off rejection letter, help them to develop maybe even give them a chance.

How to give balanced constructive feedback to someone you don’t know well,  and don’t  have a full idea of what they are capable of. (As you’ve never read their work before).

 

I better get back to my inbox! Have a wonderful Thursday!