Writing Prompt: Mid Point State Of Your Year? #reflections #inspiration

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I pulled out my writing prompt book, one prompt for every day of the year. Under today’s date this is the prompt, write up your mid- year  “state of year”... well all-righty then. Hmm, this prompt has really made me stop and think, pull out a bar of chocolate from the fridge (I’m not kidding). Sit back, listen to the rain beat down on my window at a silly hour of the early hours of  Sunday morning, and reflect. I can’t believe we are half way through 2017. For me the year has been a  year of personal growth in a lot of ways. I’d say if I were to sum it up this is what I’d say “growth” as a person, human being, mother and woman.

I took a lot of s*it personally over the last few years. This may surprise you, as I may come across as probably a no nonsense kinda girl. You’re not wrong. But I think sometimes we do things because we feel obligated to, so I did.  I got to a point where I stepped into the last half of 2016, and start of 2017 singing a different tune. It served me well, I’m in a complete new head space. This is personal growth.

So far this year, I’ve knuckled down in what I wish to achieve. I remember I did a writing prompt asking romance writers what their dream would be? Mine is to have a large collection of works our there in the world! So, I’m taking steps toward writing more seriously. As in completing my novels and novellas. I actually can’t believe that in almost one year of signing my first publishing deal, I have six books under my belt. That makes me smile. I’ve also decided to start submitting my work to publishers again. My  full completed romance thriller has been requested by a publisher in the USA, a different one to my last one. They liked my three chapters I sent, all I need to do is write it! With my contemporary romance/ suspense stories I’m browsing publishers that seem to work with romance authors mainly. No more random publishing places, I’d like somewhere I can call home long term for my works. Until I find it, I’ll happily keep self- publishing.

I think the first half of 2017 has been about hard work  and learning too, it’s now I feel like I’m seeing the fruit of this. This fruit has put me on a path to write a whole romance series, of stand alone novellas. Now three books in the hard work has put me on a nice track. Don’t get me wrong it has pulled me away from what I was working on, before this creative idea came to me. I was working on the romantic thriller that got called up from a publisher. It happens to be my first ever real serious idea for a novel before I wrote A Stranger in France!

As a mother I have grown into this role so much and I love it so much. My son is now at an age where his personality is blooming.  I feel like I know who my son is,  and what he will and won’t do as much as I can at this small age. Sounds strange, but I’m sure any parent understands what I mean when you look at your child’s personality. At just three years old he’s a handsome ball of fun, laughs, caring nature,energy and sometimes tantrums.  This first half of the year has allowed me to bond differently with my boy due to his age, and awareness of the world around him. We can do different things now he is a little older and can understand, he can understand what we read in the picture books a bit better now too. He is a true mama’s boy. But not a push over.  A few months ago  his nursery school reported to me one afternoon when I went to collect him ” errm we had an incident today Blake had a fight, yes, yes hmm, we caught him sitting on another boy’s head. The young boy called for help, that’s when we realised Blake got him down on the floor, pinned him down and would not let him go.” Now most parents maybe upset by this or disapprove. My poker face said nothing, inside I was like ” that-a-boy Blakey, hold your own in that playground.” Why? because I  know my boy he is no bully, he is an loving boy, the kind that will come and kiss and hug you and say sorry after a tantrum, he won’t fight unless he is provoked. I’m glad those other boys now know Blake is no push over in the playground, if you provoke him. Did I tell him off? Nah what for? Standing up for himself? That said, if I get poor behaviour reports that’s another story.

This year I’ve also completed a goal I have had for so long! I finally sat three exams in FRENCH back in May. Yep, speaking, reading and writing and listening. My results will be out in August. I swear if I get a B grade or above I’ll be so proud of myself.

Overall, my mid point year review is growth, hand work and learning, a clear direction of where I’m going as a writer and human being. How’s your mid year review? I’d love to read it?? Blog it let me see and link in below if you want.

100 Words Wednesday Writing Challenge: The Beach #writingprompt #amwriting

I found this super cool blog via another blogger’s challenge I read.  Bikurgul challenges us every Wednesday, with a picture as a writing prompt. Check out her challenges and interesting blog! This week this picture spoke to me, I love the beach and water. Also of late I’ve spent many hours researching exotic locations and beaches in every corner of the world, while I  visualise them and write steamy but heartfelt romance in exotic locations. I could not pass up this week’s challenge . Thanks Birkurgul  here’s my participation  🙂

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Blue skies surround me, and I feel the warm sand between my toes. There’s something about this place I love it, it feels like my “special place.”

Every time I’ve been here I’ve felt a sense of ease, peace and the ability to be free.

At times I wish this place is nearer to me, I live in a big city called London you see. I need to get on the train, which is such a shame, why can’t it be nearer to me??? Whenever I visit this place, I just sit and watch the ocean’s rhythm as it kisses the sand.  In my dreams it could be the Indian Ocean, the Atlantic Ocean, or even the paradise of the

Caribbean Ocean ….any one will do. In my mind’s eye I’m sitting under a palm tree, with a cocktail, my laptop, journal and good romance novel. This dream and vision sounds like some kind of

Heaven to me!

 

 

It’s raining in London … typical!! Who stole the sun?

Meet The Author: Alexis Rose- Non Fiction Author #amreading #health #author

Untangled: A story of resilience, courage, and triumph by [Rose, Alexis]

Okay we’re on a roll, the final author for this month is Alexis Rose! Alexis touches on very important issues that many people face in life. It’s a pleasure to interview her. Let’s get to know her style… over to you Ms. Rose

Hello nice to meet you! Tell us a bit about you where are you from and other than writing what else do you enjoy?

Hello, Thank You for including me in your author spotlight, Kim. My name is Alexis Rose and I live in Minnesota. Besides writing, I love to be with my family and friends. I unwind by practicing yoga and spending time outside. I work part-time doing the marketing for a couple of wellness centers, and enjoy teaching beginning writing classes.

How did you start writing? What was your inspiration to create?

Writing came into my life purely by accident. I had never written anything more than letters or birthday cards, until seven years ago. A friend of mine wanted to know what it felt like for me living with PTSD. Because it’s such an invisible illness, she was at a loss on how to support me. At the time, I was unable to verbalize what it felt like to anyone, let alone to myself. I went home, thought about what I would like to say, and I wrote my first poem. After showing it to her, she told me I had to start writing. I showed the poem to a few other friends, and was invited to collaborate with a couple of artists, using my poetry paired with their artwork. Three successful inspirational books later, I had developed a fierce love of writing. I took the chance to write on my own, and 18 months ago my memoir was published.

What genre do you enjoy reading?

I read a lot of books on mindfulness. I absolutely love reading historical fiction. I don’t think I have one author who is my favorite, but I love an author who does their research. I have a pretty good BS meter and don’t like a lot of filler in a book. I’m a person who will sit down with a book and escape into the character’s world. I simply love good books. I read both non-fiction and fiction at the same time. It makes both sides of my brain really happy.

Kim: haha BS meter, that’s a good one.

Have you ever thought about writing in a different genre? If you could what genre would you like to dabble in?

I would absolutely love to be able to write fiction. I’m so amazed by the women in my writing group, who create fabulous novels and mysteries. Some of their characters even have their own successful blogs. Amazing!

Kim: there is no try, you do! Give it ago.

What has been your most proud moment as an author?

I love this question! I continue to be humbled and extremely grateful when I hear that my book has resonated with a reader. Either by inspiring them, giving them something to think about or feeling like they are not alone. I can honestly say that every time I receive that feedback, I feel as proud as the first time that someone reached out to me and let me know.

Was there ever a time you wanted to pick up your laptop, and then launch it out the window with frustration?

Yes, during the editing process of all four books I wrote. Even thinking about it now, gives me the shivers!

Kim: hmm umm! I hear that.

Are you a “plotter” or a fly by the seat of your pants “pantster” as a writer?

I’m compelled to write, so I’m probably a little of both. I may have an idea that nags at me until I write it down, or all of a sudden, a poem will just burst out of my fingers.

What three tips would you give any aspiring writer?

Write!

Do not think about the editing process or if your book will be published.

Do not let anyone deter you or tell you that you cannot be a successful author.

Kim: Love the last tip. Straight to the point too.

What are you working on now? What will you release next?

I’m working on two collaborations at the moment. One is a screenplay and the other one is a compilation of inspirational poems paired with beautiful watercolor paintings.

Kim: aww painting, do keep us posted on this.

What would you like readers to know?

I would like my readers to know, how much I appreciate the time they take to buy, read and positively review Untangled. This book is my memoir, and it’s a story of pretty significant challenges. When I wrote the book, I emerged from the shadows after a life of hiding behind threats and the fear that I should never talk about what happened to me. The resilience of surviving my life, and the courage to live everyday with PTSD is what I hope comes through as inspiring and gratifying to my readers.

So… where can we get your books?

You can purchase Untangled, A story of Resilience, Courage, and Triumph on Amazon. My book is available in both print and ebook formats. Here are the links:

 

https://www.amazon.com/Untangled-story-resilience-courage-triumph/dp/1514213222

https://www.amazon.com/Untangled-story-resilience-courage-triumph-ebook/dp/B013XA4856

And that’s a wrap guys, lovely to have a so many  authors on this month, non fiction, crime, children’s books. What a great month! I’ll see you next month with some more great authors. If you’d like a feature contact me here.

To connect with Alexis:

Blog: https://atribeuntangled.com/blog

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/Alexis-Rose-700444583389087

Email address: atribeuntangled@gmail.com

 

meet-the-author

Kim’s Top Tips: How To Write A Steamy Sex Scene *wink #amwriting #romance #sex

Hmm well that got your attention didn’t it! Step right up, this is Kim’s class on creating steam in your stories. So last month, or maybe earlier this month… I can’t remember the days roll into one I’ve been so busy. Wait.. wait no it was this month, I set up a new  blog habit of  writing a tip or tick I use or have learned. I started to get messages from aspiring published authors and writers asking me to read their “hot new shit”, they wrote LOL.  They asked for some tips and advice. I was like of course! Lemme see it. So here I go with tip #2 you can read tip #1 on editing right here.

First I want to say, I’m no expert I’m not a know-it-all I too am learning, these tips are just my take on things. Second, I’m not an erotica writer at all. All I do when I’m not writing crime or general thriller /suspense is write romance, with a bit of steam. I like to add some heat to my writing. Second, I’m not overly explicit with sex, I’m a mother and one day my son will read my work *cringe.* Also I’m fed up of my mum looking at me over her glasses like “Kimberly… I’m on page sixty six?!” Then I’m like what the hell did I write on page sixty six?! *cringe* so let’s get into it! Here’s my tips.

What is steam/heat?

Well according to standard romance writing norms, it’s the level of sex  / intimacy in your writing. The amount / frequency and how sexy it is. eg is it very explicit with graphic details, or in the middle more sensual but there is a clear idea of who is doing what, and to who, or less so and all the characters do is hold hands.

High heat: lots of sex, graphic, explicit language. Your kindle will be on fire. ( Erotica).

Mid range heat: moderate levels of sex,  or often, graphic but maybe not as explicit. But the word cock is used! For example 🙂 Your kindle will steam up for sure.

Low level : nothing to write home about.

How to decide on your level of steam/heat?

Personally, I….

  • Let the story talk to me, the plot kind of dictates how steamy I get.
  •  Consider what else has happened in the story.
  • Consider my characters, their age, who they are as people, and what is suitable realistically for them as people.

Personally I’m mid range heat, generally as I’m not an erotica writer. My advice to those wanting to heat up their writing, is to consider the points above. Also remember you don’t have to write romance to bring the heat. A classic example is when Didi and I wrote It Was The First Time I Killed A Man,  for The Suspenseful Collection that’s a crime short story with mid- high range heat levels in terms of how descriptive it is. However the character (Lisa) made it appropriate to bring the heat, because of who she is. Do you see what I mean? Work heat into your writing regardless of genre  based on your characters, and who they are if it fits. You don’t have to just be a romance writer. Just make sure it is appropriate, and the level is good for the characters, don’t write a sex mad underage kid.

Okay smarty pants Kim, how do I actually write sex, I’m nervous and shy

Good question. Again, personally I approach writing about sex, love and emotions from this angle

  • Get over shyness, sex is natural  write like you’re proud regardless of who the characters are, I stepped into the shoes of an explicit lesbian serial killer for God sake. I got over the “what will people think” by the time we blogged it.  Mean what you write give it heart. Don’t write like a chump!
  • I’m a girl, as you can see.. so for me naturally I tend to focus on the emotional side, not just inserting body parts and the “ohhh ahhh do me now part”. I get into character emotionally. What do your characters feel, about the moment, the other person, the situation etc. I express this or show it via their actions and dialogue. I try not to “tell it” if I’m writing third person too much, some times you have to but try to focus on the character’s actions showing feeling.
  • Be natural, what do you honestly think is a hot sex scene?? I interviewed the erotica author Ava Sterling a few months back, her take on is was to use your experience… within reason so go for it. I’d agree with this advice from an actual erotica author.
  • Use more than just “oh it feels so good” “don’t stop” lol let the dialogue flow in a realistic way.  Also, would a real man/woman stop in the middle of doing the deed and say some dumb sh*t?? No!!… Well I hope not anyway. Keep it realistic, focus dialogue on the moment and heat of the scene, not the weather.
  • Hype up the five major senses.  This will ramp up your writing so much. Again, this is a personal thing how I write, but do what works for you. Try not to just focus on feeling or how good it feels, and characters say this over and over. Sure it feels good. We have other senses, vision, hearing etc.  What about touch how does a part of the body feel?, Taste ?* Raises eyebrows* get creative with whatever your character is tasting, that kind of thing. Or smell, I love a man who smells goooooooooooooooooood ladies you get where I’m going with this right? The weak feeling you get, when you smell a man’s aftershave unexpectedly when he’s up close. AND it’s fresh or whatever your preference is.  Whoah!!

  • I’m a sucker for it. Use this, work it into your writing how do the characters smell?
  • Don’t be over sexual and think that’s the best way to go, sometimes sensual is just as good. Unless you are writing dark erotica where foul language is needed, and most suited. In your everyday romance you don’t need to really take it there. Some raw language but not over kill.

And my best bit of advice, send your scene to someone to read, I did when I wrote Lover’s Retreat there’s a really steamy scene in there, the person I sent it to wrote back and said  “I think I need to call a babysitter, and go jump on my husband, that’s how you do it!! ” HAHA :).  Get feedback, it’s so helpful and think about what reaction you want from readers. I did in that particular scene want to make readers feel a bit hot under the collar, send your work out and see if you’ve delivered. Take all feedback and perfect your craft if you did not deliver. It’s fine, no one will know just re-work your scene.

If I’ve missed anything writers our there let me know, drop me a comment.

Happy writing!!

Random: The Forgotten Art Of Writing #writerslife #amwriting

This evening I swapped one form of writing for another. I left behind my imaginary friends who speak to me, even in my sleep. I picked up a pen and paper, turned on the radio, poured a glass of wine. I  attended to my ever growing letter reply pile. Yep! I have penpals, near and far all over the world.

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This here is my rather messy desk and letters. It’s here that I write my novels, daydream and write hand written letters too.  It’s after 11:00pm here in London, so the picture is not that bright, but you get the jest. Just thought I’d share a little personal picture of my creation space.

How did I start penpaling?:

Good question. About almost five years ago now, I started to take my French language learning seriously. I attended classes, worked online etc, but it was not the same. Learning academically became very boring., and I could not always make my classes. I wanted to make it fun, so I joined some online forums for language exchange partners. I also found out there were people out there, who love letter writer writing as much as me! I found some cool geeks to hang with, and I found some French speaking penpals. 🙂  I was on cloud nine lemme tell ya!

So the whole process started by exchanging my English for French, with others who wanted a language exchange in a fun informal way.  I saw it as a way to remain fluent in the language and improve my grammar. It then grew, I started writing to English speaking pals, who had great profiles that I that contacted me. I have about awww maybe fourteen penpals now.

We write often at least once a month. Of late I’ve dropped off a bit, due to knocking out some serious word count for my books. The pile is growing to respond to.

Why write letters? You can send an email Kim.

Yeah, I hear ya. I know. But as a writer there’s something about hand written letters, that really appeals to me. It always has done, and always will. Some of my penpals I have been in contact with since day one. That’s a long time!

It’s also really cool to get to know someone via a slow burn way. Nothing is instant, and for me personally, the friendships I’ve maintained with my girlfriends via letter is very real. We talk about everything, and I mean everything. Once you click and bond with a pal via letter it’s such a great feeling. I also like to learn about different cultures and ways of life. My pals are all over the world.

Where are your pals?

In these counties:

USA

France

Canada

Austria

Germany

Brazil

Japan

UK

Australia

 

Have you met any of your pals?

Yeah, sure I have I met two actually. My pal who lives in Paris she came to London last year. After a good few years of writing, it was mind blowing to hear her actual Parisian accent.  Also my pal who lives in the south west coast of the UK, in a little place called Cornwell. Miles from London a good five hour train ride. I went to Cornwell on holiday last year. It was amazing to meet her in person we got on just as well, our sons also bonded well.

How has letter writing influenced me as a writer?

Well, if you’ve read A Stranger in France you’ll see exactly how it has influenced me! When I wrote that novel, I used letter writing to help tell the story, via the classic show don’t tell writing trick writers use. It’s a great trick to play out stories, and keep readers turning pages. Many use it via narration in third person or via dialogue, I did it via letter writer using first person from each character’s point of view. I totally broke the rules…  Cool huh? I also used in in Not Just For Christmas too, well that was e-mail to be fair, but I used it as show don’t tell. 

 

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This right here is my journal, on top of my laptop I write my novels on. I also write in  my journal daily. I have done for as long as I can remember. My earliest “dear diary” memories are from primary school, when I was about ten years old! My earlier diaries from my teens and twenties I threw away. I’m gutted I wish to God I never. I have diaries now dating back to when I was thirty years old. New Year’s Eve just gone, I actually read them all! I looked back at my life from the age of thirty -thirty four.

Letter writing is a form of expression I love. You have to sit and think about what you wish to say and how. A bit like when I write a chapter in a book, but a lot less formal… I’m not so caught up on grammar or punctuation. My pals probably read some of my letters and think sheeit and she calls herself a damn writer?  Mwwahha! it’s true I just write as if I’m talking to my pals it’s so informal. My French grammar is not perfect either, even after all these years. My French pals must think I’ve learned very little after all these years. But hey! I’m trying.. the language structure is so different to English.

So that’s my other hobby and form of self expression outside novel writing. I love letter writing.  It’s a forgotten art and I don’t think may people journal either.Who here writes hand written letters still? Anyone?  Who here writes in a  journal??

** listens out for the wind rustling the leaves**

Random: You’ve Gotta To Love Her! #music #inspiration #love #random

Okay so I did a throwback Thursday post with Beyonce. I LOVE THIS SONG!! YOU HAVE TO PLAY IT LOUD! The lyrics toward her husband ( Jay-Z)  are …. well, what made me look at Beyonce, a little differently. I guess I had a new level of respect for her, and her spunk.

You tell ’em B!

One of my favs on the Lemonade album, I listen to this track over and over the beat is sick, I love the rifts.  I love her style, the “Jackie Brown” 70’s retro with the fur coat  vs urban fashion with her braids, and those killer heels. Work it B!

Have a great day! I better get to work I am procrastinating.

Throwback Thursday!! #music #writerslife #throwbackthursday #oldskool

Goooooood Mornin’ to ya!

It’s a grey cloudy one in London. I’m sitting here about to crack on with the final touches on my first, of two published books this July. You know me by now right? The music is going, coffee is being made, I’m in the zone. This song came on the radio as I was in the kitchen waiting for the kettle to boil, giving it so much attitude as I sang along, doing my best Beyonce impression.  (Not a very good one, but plenty of attitude though).

This song came out in 1999… Woah  I was sixteen years old ! How old were you in 1999? Do you remember singing along to this song?

 It set me in a good mood to work. I like Beyonce’s work ethic too. Eighteen years she has been a successful woman since this first song came out. Inspirational being the same age too.

Music will always be my saviour in life! And what I write to.

#throwbackthursday