Throwback Thursday> 1988! Who Remembers This One?

Who can do the running man?  Last Sunday this song came on the radio, I had  some friends over, one said ‘ bet you can’t do the running man!’ I was like whhhhhhhhhhhhhat phhhhhh please! Of course I can  :). It ended up in a fit of giggles, with everyone in the house  doing the running man and cheesy 80s and 90s dance moves to this song.

It’s 1988, this beat is crazy, let’s step back in time with Bobby Brown. What were you doing in 1988, how old were you? Me, I was just 5 years old.

6 of One, Half a Dozen of The Other #amwriting

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Prompt> Write  six words about what you think the future holds for you then expand… okay I’ll put this out to the universe to hear my wishes.  Six words>  Healed, Happy, in Love, Successful, Writing.

Healed> by this I mean I am finally healed and now in a very good place, for me personally from about the age of 30-ish ( I’m 36 at the time of writing) I have been on a journey. Life was turned upside down and back around again. I went through a lot  I feel I really did not need to.  Now I look back, I can understand exactly why it all happened and how it help me to move forward. Sometimes the ‘Universe’ disrupts your path, to grab your attention and put you on another one that’s better for you. That’s fine looking back, at the time it can be a living hell. For me I had to completely revamp myself from the inside, and also life to get to where I am  now. And trust me no one, and I mean no one will come along and ‘disturb the peace’ I’ve found now!

So, for the future I hope to remain fully healed and never have to experience the drama I did before.

Happy> Who does not want to be happy? While I am happy, I hope to continue to be happy. Mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually.  I cracked the mentally and emotionally and spiritually, so I started to work on the physical. Personally I have been doing a hell of  working out at home to my DVDs, as I stopped and really like to start my day this way. I used to a lot before I was going through ‘living hell’. This summer, I have been killing it with Pilates and dance based exercise ( I love to dance). I also  discovered PopSugar fitness on You Tube. I lost an inch off my waist very fast in just a few weeks! I’ve always been a UK size 12-14  US 10-12 dress size, but now I look better  I think with just  an  inch gone from my waist. It’s amazing what 20 mins a day each morning can do. I also hope that my family remains happy too, and we are at peace.

In Love> Hey, I write steamy romance stories (sometimes), of course love is a big thing for me, I read about it I love all the romance genre, and hope maybe I’ve found the right person and it blossoms into a very meaningful relationship. When you start a new relationship you never know which way it will swing but you remain hopeful, even if there’s a rocky start or there are some challenges. I’ll be honest and say I am an old romantic ( no surprise there hey), so to me even if a person suffers a broken heart in the worst way I believe we should still believe in love, regardless. Build yourself back up, and move forward hopeful. I  also think that it is very important to love yourself before you can love anyone else, have a clear idea of what you want and don’t waste your time if you find someone who does not show you what you want or worse deserve. Don’t hope they will change, if they don’t fit the bill f*ck them… you like me? Treat me right it’s that simple.

The older I’ve got the more I have taken this attitude towards how I allow men to treat me, and how I treat others if I like you trust me you’ll know. If you’ve pissed me  off… yeah, trust you’ll know also. I’ve learned to be straight forward when it comes to love. Also writing all these complex love stories has also allowed me to reflect and think, ‘damn what drama I’ve caused for these characters, love should be so simple’. So Don’t waste your time, find someone who is on the same page and be patient for them to come along.

I remember when I suffered my first major break up I was probably about 21-22ish, at the time do you know I actually went celibate and refrained from sex and men all together until I found a decent guy, worth my time and my goodies 🙂 My girlfriends thought I was crazy, at that age your hormones are raging but to me I had such a broken heart, the thought of a man close to me was just off putting… So I partied hard with my girls, and really threw myself into my work and it paid off I had a wonderful time in my earlier 20s. Fast forward it happened again, this time I did not do the celibate thing but I changed my attitude to  who I give my time to big time, and in a funny way that heart ache set me free and really helped me learn something very important, today at 36 I am thankful for both of them.

So in a nutshell, here’s hoping that this relationship that does not end, and if it does let it end before we get too wrapped up in each other…. please, I’m too old for this messing around LOL.

Successful> Success can mean a lot of different things to different people, just getting through the day can be success in someone’s eyes, while someone else wants millions in the bank. For me, I just want to see my son grow up to be the King I am raising him to be, and do well for himself, write some good stories, live a happy and fulfilled life. As I write this, this is all I could hope for. I feel that I am now in a space where success is not about money so much for me it’s more about achieving the goals I set for myself in life, one at a time.

Writing> Well, I write all day, every day it’s a day job for me now. But I want to focus more on my actual own stuff I want to write, rather than what I am being asked to write. *rolls eyes* that said, nine times out of ten I do enjoy what I am asked to write or translate into English so I should not complain.

And that’s my six word story future…

What’s your six word story?? I’d love to read it.

Bad Reviews- In My View They Ain’t So Bad! #MFRW

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So it’s Monday and like clockwork I woke up at 7.00a.m after snoozing the alarm a few times, with a list as long as my arm, with things I want to complete today, in order to have a productive writing day. For one we’re one week into National Novel Writing Month, I’m participating this year, while I have 20,000 words down I’m still not quite happy with all of it, I have emails to respond to, one half of a story for The Suspenseful Collection #2 to write…. before tomorrow!  And let’s not forget the ‘day job writing’ also… I’m a translator by day!

Waking up to this list,  I knew today would be busy, right on cue my five year old son moseys into my room, jumps under the covers…”mama, I’m sick.” I sigh, roll my eyes, peel his warm five year old body off me and look him in the eye, then ask what’s wrong? He  holds his legs in the air like a tent under the covers. When he was born he had complications with his legs, now it’s fine but  I take his complaints seriously. I roll over thinking ” no school looks like today’s a sick day then, some much for productivity.”

It’s lunch time, what is he doing as I write this writing response?  Dancing and singing (rather loudly) to the Lion King movie, before that it was Frozen the movie. What else has he done today, given me firm instructions to leave my desk, to play kick the ball in the garden , attacked the washing line then ran around the house with my bra on his head, pretending he’s a “pirate of the Caribbean.” Clearly, there is nothing wrong with the little shit, boy… whoops sorry. He just fancies a day off to watch Disney all day, and disrupt his mama!

So I may as well do a writing prompt as it’s clear I won’t get to focus on any manuscripts until this evening after bed time…. sighs #shoutoutallparents.

 Bad Reviews, How They Can Help?

So bad reviews? The question  and writing prompt this week is how to overcome them. In all honesty, I don’t think bad reviews are really that bad as you grow as a writer. You soon learn that you can’t, should not try to, and DO NOT EVER want to try to write to please everyone, it’s impossible. If you do that, you’ll lose who you are as a writer,why YOU WRITE and you’ll have no idea of who you actually please- your target market and actually create sales, and a readership.

I also say this as I personally feel as a writer you get to a point where a bad review, you realise does so much more than make you feel bad if you have done the best you can on your work. 1. a review is a review whether good or bad, and sometimes the odd 1 star or someone not feelin’ your work shows a genuine picture or balanced picture. 2. a bad review can cause other people to pick up your book, out of curiosity anyway. How many times have you read reviews on somethings you wish to purchase, or a new product you wish to try and noticed the odd bad one or less positive review but decided ‘I think I want to give this a try, and see for myself.’ 3. it can also allow you to see what someone did not enjoy, genuinely as  long as they are not just on a bitchfest for no good reason.

So… how could you overcome a bad review?

I feel there  is the difference between a ‘moaning’ review and a genuine less positive review that’s more like ‘ this is critique that’s useful.’ I also feel it’s our job as a writer to weed out the two. If you can do this, that’s half the job of ‘overcoming’ a bad review. If the person is just going on, and on, and on, and on about why they hated your work with no real depth to it just…. just “hatin”’ on your work, disregard it and see that they are ‘moaning’. Instead pay attention to those who seem to be more realistic in their less positive review, and see what’s of use for you to know. Even then, take what’s helpful and leave the rest and focus on writing the next book.

Lastly, try  recognise if you have just sadly attracted the ‘wrong reader’ I hate to say this, sometimes it happens. It has happened to me, and I have also been the wrong type of reader for other books. This is when the book calls you,  the cover, blurb, genre whatever…you dive in and the connection is not there. If you can recognise within less positive reviews if this is ‘the wrong kind of reader, not someone you’d hope to attract or genuinely  a target reader’ for your work, this helps you to overcome bad reviews also. It is also helpful to define for  yourself as a writer who is, potentially could be, and definitely is not a target reader for you. Within the less positive reviews.

This is my honest approach to this subject that so many of us writers lose sleep over… a bad review pifff… I don’t allow it to bug me out so much these days. I take what I need and leave the rest, and know that it’s impossible to please all, and I would not ever want to, how the hell do I stand out if I do that?

Take what’s helpful, leave the rest. Just like when your work is rejected by a publisher, or an agent or an editor requests your work …but asks you to make what you would call major changes….that you’re not really feeling. Leave it if it does not help or changes your work too much in your view in a way you’d not really want it to. There will be someone out there that will say ‘yes, gimmie that’ as it is, you just have to find them.

Lastly, don’t ever lose your confidence over a bad review, once you develop that thick skin, this is impossible to happen anyway. But on the way to getting to this place of thick skinned and unflappable, don’t beat yourself up if someone did not connect, as remember you write for those that do connect.

 

Poem: Is She You?

 Reblogging this poem I wrote and blogged for all mothers a long, long time ago. Today in the UK it is Mother’s Day.  This Sunday, I’m celebrating and saluting all mothers, no matter where you are in the world. I feel blessed, I have a British and European day to celebrate motherhood! If you were celebrating with me today, I hope you have had a wonderful day.

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She, who is she? Is she me or you? If not you then she is who? All I know is she always says whatever it is I need to do …. trust me I’ll do. No matter the weather, no matter the stress her attitude is always “can do.”

Times get tough, troubled and unsettled waters maybe ahead, but does that make her see red?  Let me ask you a question, if you could do it all again in life would you? What would you seek to go back and re-do? You have a long list! Wow, my point, you have missed. Each experience is either a lesson, or blessing in disguise. Wrapped up in drama,  or feeling like there’s no light at the end of the tunnel.  But  If you never travelled that road of drama, would you be able to hold your head this high?

Read between the lines you’re much better, you’re like titanium, and much more refined after all that drama you left behind. You’re now one of a kind, so leave those bitter memories behind.

Each day, look in the mirror and figure out what it is you must do, or what you want to do? What’s your next move?

Never be bitter or never be so unkind to yourself, so that you can’t read between the lines.

Gather your strength, keep your goals in mind, never look behind. I promise you with this wind under your wings you’ll fly. Now you must reach for the sky. Some days will be hard, you have the kids, work, school,  dinner to make, cleaning, the list never ends and the worst bit – everyone has their demands of you! You’ll want to scream hold up! What more do you want me to fucking do? Huh?  But remember it’s your strength,

That will see you through. So let me ask you again who is she? Is she me? Is she you? Oh she is you! Then get out there and do what you need to do. Remember Proverbs 31:25 now who is she?? Is she you?… Yeah, that’s what I thought, I knew you had it in you.

High five, keep going and do what you need to do.

 I just felt like writing. Salute to all the mothers, carers, breadwinners, goal makers and hard workers out there!

Kim.

Thirteen?- Service Resumed As Normal #amwriting

img_20190313_211101.jpgI’ve not logged into my author email account since the 13th September 2018, I’ve not blogged since the 13th September 2018. Today is the 13th March 2019, as I sat down originally and pulled up a new blog post to write, the time was 9.13 p.m. Many consider this an unlucky number, if you’re into numerology like me you won’t believe this. And, you’ll probably break down the number 13 to the number 4. 4 being the number of stability… which to means to me, today is a good day to write this and a very good sign from the universe that things are ‘stable’.

My original plan was to do a video and upload it and speak to everyone, but there’s been so many changes on WordPress, and for some reason my account ‘does not allow this access’. So what the fuck? May as well do what us writers do a write up y’all. I don’t know how many will read this but it’s important for me to write it, so it’s here. I want to let those who have contacted me, and had a lack of response know that now I am okay. Before I was not 100% and I had to withdraw and focus on my personal life.

The first thing I want to say is if you have sent me an email since the 13th September 2018, you’ll know I never got to respond. This is a heartfelt apology to all those 10,000 unread emails I logged onto today. If you are someone from what was  a Conscious Talk Magazine  member who emailed me, or has been emailing me asking what’s going on,  I will contacting you all directly speak to you ALL to explain, the ending of 2018, which resulted in my lack of response and absence. To everyone else I am so sorry!!

If you were waiting on a book review, interview, some kind of promotion and I never came through. I’m sorry forgive me I had a rough end to the year. But 2019 has started great. I feel that the end of last year, and most of the last two years for me personally, have been the ending of cycles, and karmatic things I had to experience  and deal with in order to be where I am now, which is a very good place.

I turned thirty-six in February and had a fantastic time, thank you if you did send birthday wishes thank you. Honestly, there are  good reasons for my absence.  I don’t really want to go into all that on a blog, I just want to let you all know I had to disappear for  six months for personal reasons, now I am the best I have ever felt. Living my greatest life! My family are well too.

That aside, I should start with the good news, and what I have been doing as a writer. The last time I wrote here  on the 13th  of September, I was in the throes of writing a  romance novel that has been requested by an agent. I was (and still am even more) over the moon. It’s complete,  yes! And I renamed that bitch after it took me so long to round it up. It’s changed from the very nice ‘Once Bitten Twice Shy’ title to ‘Sacrifices’ the story took on a meaning of its own, as I was writing. It’s now  on the way to that agent’s inbox.  I now await her response and I hope she likes it. While it’s shorter than my first full length novel , it’s taken me like since 2017 to push out just 72,000 words. I say just, as that’s nothing compared to the 90,000 odd I wrote before.

Now, I’m focused on a manuscript I’ve not finished, before I even published my first book. My very first idea,  it’s a crime thriller with a hint of romance! I keep talking about that, and need to get around to focusing on it. So yes, 2019 I have big plans in terms of writing personally, and finishing off The Suspenseful Collection part two, with my co-author bestie Didi Oviatt. That girl’s been so patient with me after I ghosted her in September. Tomorrow we’ll  meet on Skype and I am totally prepared for her to curse me out. I laugh as I type this as I know Didi very well, personally and what she’s like ( and she  knows me very well). I can imagine what tomorrow will be like. Thing is not only is our writing similar we have a lot in common as people, and get on really well. So I know it will be like ” what the fuck Kim? You bitch you ghosted me, I had the stories ready and blah blah blah” then, we’ll be back to laughing and joking, like nothing ever happened. After six months, I am rather excited to speak with her.

I’ve also been ghost writing too! Which is a great way to earn money as a writer,  if you are good, have talent and if you don’t mind signing non-discloser acts, and not being credited for your work…but paid instead, very well  indeed for all your work! I’ve written some very interesting topics and short books, to put food on the table and live. I have been offered another topic I’m considering, while I juggle my own work to publish.

Life has changed,  it feels like I’ve shed a skin, been to hell and back, come out smelling like roses and feeling good. I still have a day job that involves writing so I guess now, I am now a full-time writer.  I never actually thought I’d get the pleasure to say that, but I am! Writing my own work but also a variety of things that I never thought I’d turn my hand to.  I feel like I’ve got my dream job! So here goes  for 2019.

In terms of being present here, my vision for my blog is still to write short stories, do writing prompts which you all know I looooooooooooove, promote other authors, book reviews all the stuff I did before. And of course interact with as many of you as I can, and READ as many other blogs as I can. I no longer get emails sent to me for blogs I follow, why is that? Is this some major change on WordPress?

This is just a quick post to say ‘sorry’ to those who need to hear this, and update those who have just been like ‘ where’s Kim?’ I better try and make my way through this mountain of unread mail!

Thank you for reading, thanks to those who have sent me ‘hey what’s up’ emails. And if you have sent me an email cursing me out, which I’ve not got to yet, hey it’s cool I have no hard feelings.  I am yet to pull up all the mail and see what I’ve missed. But you have to understand I had no choice but to pull back and remove myself totally from everything.

I’ll catch y’all soon!

Ps. guess what the time is as I end this blog post 10.13pm…this is spooky!!

 

 

 

 

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!

 

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

Calling

 

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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.