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.

Good Morning, It Can Wait Until Monday!: Friday Feeling… What You Up To? #fridayfeeling #weekend

Friday 2

 

 Is it Friday yet in your part of the world? If so that’s right, we’ve made it through another week guys. It’s only 8:00 a.m London time, but to quote the Russian Femme Fatale,  I really enjoyed writing so much for  writing for week 5’s short story…

” vhere vodka an’ shot glass?”

Vodka

 

Already I feel like celebrating the fact, I made it through a very busy week, with a shot. I’ll try and hold out until midday at least 🙂 . It’s been a crazy week of trying to meet deadlines, working, caring for the family, trying to de-clutter / clean the house and in between to sleep. Noticed I used “try” only half of this I actually got done.

How do you feel? What’s your week been like?

What are you up to this weekend? What’s on the to – do list? Here’s mine

  1. Finalise the last chapter of Lover’s Retreat, hand the manuscript to my editor and beta readers. I’ve done it! Knocked out 30,000 odd words whoop whoop! .. now vhere vodka?
  2. Paint my nails (finally).
  3. De-clutter a room in the house ( finally).
  4. Start working on the very special twist Didi and I have planned for Kim and Did’s Suspenseful Collection. 
  5. Outline  in a bit more detail, the short story idea I have for book three of my Romance Set In Paradise Series.
  6. Do some washing or laundry if you’re one of my American Friends.
  7. Finish reading the short story author E Denise Billups sent me. Continue reading  author Sara Ackerman’s historical romance.
  8. Listen to some music!
  9. Write a letter to a few pen pals who think I’ve dropped off the face of the earth.
  10. Have a wonderful time hanging out with friends and family… leaving my 99 problems until Monday!

Have a great last working day of the week. Be safe whatever you do this weekend. Please do share your to-do list with me? Are you going anywhere nice?

#London …

Thank you so much to everyone who as sent me a message to say ” are you all right?”, during the last two attacks we’ve had here in the UK. Yes I’m fine! In light of what happened over night I found out about the attack ,when a girlfriend in Paris sent me a text to ask if I’m okay.  I looked at my phone like … is she okay? Why is she  so panicked.  I turned on the TV and was really upset it was all over the news. The attack was just a few miles from me in London Bridge central London. A place I have wrote about so many times as well in my stories, it’s such a vibrant part of London. Especially at night.

Last night, my family were asleep and I was behind my laptop ,knocking out a few thousand words writing while the attack happened. I had no idea. I went straight to bed in the early hours of the morning. I heard no announcements on the radio as I worked late into the night, which is surprising.

This morning I headed out cautiously to the supermarket. My son, and I saw a heavy police presence on the streets of London. That’s good I guess. I bumped into a friend, a mature lady who was deeply upset as her son was there last night. He witness the whole damn thing. He is safe. I will be clued to the news most of the day via the radio, as my son has taken over the TV with Toy Story movies lol. He is so small, he has no idea of what evil there is in the world at just three years old.

If you or anyone you know has lost someone in the attacks last night, I pray for you today and I am deeply sorry. If you or anyone you know lost someone  in the attack a few weeks back, in Manchester in the north of the UK, at Ariana Grande’s concert, I also pray for you and I am deeply sorry .

London and Manchester let’s stand shoulder to shoulder, and hope that our government has a way to deal with no further attacks on our wonderful cities around the UK.

 

Poem: Is She You? #amwriting #poem

Maze
quote 1

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.

Sunday Vibes! #music #inspiration

Happy Sunday y’all. I’m about the head to the kitchen and start dinner, then have some family quality time. Before a marathon run of writing starts, when everyone is in bed.  I hope you’re having a great weekend? I’ve met all my deadlines.

Here’s my Sunday feel good song… California Soul which dates back to 1967 I think. I have Magic Soul FM on  the radio LOUD and clear right now! Some great feel good  songs playing this afternoon. This is one of my favourites ,I love 60s,70s and 80s music. I was not even born when this song was made, my mama  was almost eighteen,… which is crazy to imagine.

One for you Mum. Have a great Sunday!

Romance Writer’s Challenge Week #18: Boy You’re Just Too Funny! – What Makes Me Laugh Out loud#MFRW

It’s week eighteen, well it was last week. Forgive my lateness. I am as always fashionably late with the Romance Writer’s fifty two week writing challenges. Anyway, week eighteen all about what makes you laugh out loud. This writing prompt response is dedicated to a special person, the most handsome boy in the world! My three year old son…. He makes me laugh so  much here’s just a few examples of why.

Bath time:

What is it with little boys and their willies? Fast forward twenty years and I guess nothing changes, as  a grown man for him there will always be a  fascination with his willy! Every night, I ask my son when I undress him for bath time ” do you need to go wee wee?” He shakes his head “no mama ” jumping up and down eager to get in the tub. “Okay son, let’s get in the tub.” I place him in and he stands there  as soon as he gets in, hips thrust with his you know what thrust forward  and pees in the bath! Swirling his hips around for the perfect aim :). Then he has the cheek to say ” ta-dah!”  Look at me and laugh.  I do chuckle, no matter what I do he saves that bath-time pee especially for his ta-dah moment.

High Heels:

I have a pair of gold gladiator heels, I also have them in black too. They have a good say four and a bit inch heel. ( I’m only five foot five). I love them, so does Blake my son. My son is obsessed with walking in these heels, but only the gold pair for some reason. And to my surprise he can walk well, he trots around heels clicking on the wood floor happy as Larry. ” Mummy shoes, mummy shoes.” Every time I hear this I know he’s on about my gold heels he wants to wear them. I’ve tried to  put them away out of sight. Hoping he will mess around with a pair of my flats…. nope! He wants these gold heels. It makes me chuckle.

 

Learning to talk:

I think as a mother you learn to understand your child’s words even when to others they sound like baby babble. Some of my son’s words are so unclear. Fifished = finished. founded-it= found it. vashin’mach-in= washing machine and  mata-toes= tomatoes. It’s so cute when toddlers talk and learn to express themselves. His words often make me chuckle. Especially when he says tomatoes lols 🙂 .

Learning & imagining my future son:

Bless him, he is well house trained already. I watch him pull the hoover out and try to plug it in, try to sweep the floors, unload the washing machine when he hears the click of the end of a load of laundry. To see him do as I do is so heartwarming. The way toddlers learn is entertaining. I do catch him trying to fold himself into the washing machine now and then, the first time it was funny. Now I’ve learned to keep it closed!

Recognising who and what his mama is:

I encourage my son to read a lot, well look at the pictures in books he’s only three. We read together every night. He makes me laugh when he pulls a novel off my bookcase and opens it , then pretends he’s reading. My heart melts…. the best bit, is when he recognises the covers of my books on the case. He’ll pull them down and say “mama book.”  Or he will pick up my notepads I use for creative writing ideas ” mama book” he’ll scream. He’s so cute. He may have little words but he is very aware emotionally.

Kids…. you’ve gatta love ’em 🙂 They’ll always put a smile on your face.

 

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